Sunday, January 28, 2007

First Communion

My youngest daughter (6 years old) received her first communion today. It was unplanned -- spontaneous even.

My congregation doesn't have a specific process for first communion. It's left more or less to the parents' discretion. I've been planning to wait until I thought she'd have some appreciation for it, at which time I would sit her down and explain the basic concepts and so on, and then the following Sunday we'd make a big deal of it. But apparently God had other plans.

Today my two daughters and I were standing at the altar steps waiting to receive the sacrament. The oldest and I were standing reverently with our hands cupped to receive the bread. My youngest, seeing that this is how it's done, did likewise. I was about to make her stop it, but I couldn't think of anything to say that wouldn't contradict everything I planned to tell her about communion. When the pastor came to us, he handed her the bread without hesitation.

Tonight we're going to be reading Daniel Erlander's excellent book, A Place for You, and celebrating the occassion.


Lutheran Zephyr said...


Chris Sagsveen said...

One of those events where God's plan was different than yours. Congratulations to you and your daughter!

Andy said...

It's actually strangely parallel to my own experience. When I was a teenager I went to church but my parents didn't, so I was never confirmed and no one ever told me when it was "OK" to receive communion. One day I just decided to do it.

Tom in Ontario said...

lcdrjgGood for you, Andy. I grew up in a church where first communion was tied to confirmation so my daughters didn't have their first communion until I was at seminary and they came to the opening worship service at the beginning of the school year and I told them it was okay to have communion, without any explanation.

Officially the ELCIC practices communion of all the baptized so my boys started receiving once they were eating on their own. I don't do any "first communion" instruction. I figure the kids didn't need any instruction before they were baptized so why do they need instruction before they can receive Christ in the bread and wine?

LutherPunk said...

That is really awesome. I love to hear stories about how grace is operative and people hunger for that grace even as children.

Andy said...

I had never thought about the connection between baptism and communion in terms of instruction needed. That's a good perspective.