Monday, July 13, 2015

Not in front of the children

I'm sure there's a perfectly sensible proposal behind this report on reforms to CofE communion practice, but how about this for a paragraph:

It comes despite fears from the Church’s most senior liturgical body that children could spill communion wine, which represents the blood of Christ. It would also mean children being invited to distribute alcohol in churches - almost a decade before they could legally drink it in a pub

a) adults can spill communion wine too. I know, I have. Maybe we should refuse to give it to people who have Parkinsons too? 

b) hopefully communion is closer to a family meal than a consumer transaction. I would hope that most children are involved in preparing and serving the food and drink of a meal by the age of 9 at home. So why not in church? 

c) my theology may be a little ropey, but for those who think transubstantiation actually happens, surely the wine is no longer alcoholic in that case? 

we really do tie ourselves in knots over some silly things. God is more offended by children being driven into poverty by welfare reforms than he is by them spilling communion wine. 


  1. 25% of what you say might be wrong...but this definitely belongs to the other 75%! Spot on!

  2. In our church it is mainly the adults who bring children to communion but abstain themselves because they haven't prepared or feel unworthy.

  3. I'm a careful adult with a high view of Holy Communion and a usually steady hand, but I too have spilt communion wine and dropped the bread/wafer on the floor. Communion is the family meal of the body of Christ. My view is that all family members should be entitled to receive the elements. If baptism is the entry to the church it should equally be seen as the door to sharing in the meal - giving thanks and remembering Jesus, eating and drinking - what could be simpler? Having said that I still think that appropriate preparation is important, both for children and adults, and not just before a 1st communion.

  4. After the grief I got for teaching my daughter to drink responsibly when she was in upper primary school, my only response to this:

    It would also mean children being invited to distribute alcohol in churches - almost a decade before they could legally drink it in a pub

    is schadenfreude. The spineless lot who run the C of E deserve everything they get.

  5. If they're in the family of God, they should be at the family meal table, helping out as far as they are able. Same as everybody else.

    (Though I suspect your theology of transubstantiation is a little ropey - alcohol would be an 'accident' that remains after the substance has changed.)

  6. If accidents are embodied in someone's theology, then I guess that covers spillages too. Sorted.