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Can You Receive Communion Without Baptism? Part 2

In my previous post, I addressed why some churches require baptism prior to receiving communion. With many people having grown up unchurched or only having had a casual affiliation with a church, there’s a good chance that a visitor on any given Sunday hasn’t been baptized. Others may be from traditions which practice Jesus’ Name baptism, which is not recognized in the liturgical tradition.

There are some ways of extending hospitality that have worked well, and a couple will be discussed below:

Coming Forward for a Blessing

This has generally been practiced in any Episcopal church I’ve attended. Non-baptized visitors may come to the rail with everyone else. A priest gives them a blessing when they indicate they aren’t receiving, which minimizes one feeling out of place. Many people are quite comfortable with such a policy.

Private Prayer Time

I heard of one church that would have a prayer team sit discretely in a side chapel after they had received communion, to pray with others who had special needs. In many cases, those who weren’t receiving would go to the prayer team right away for prayers.  While this may not be practical for all parishes, the person who mentioned this said that it worked well at theirs.

Another Suggestion

One person, when a similar discussion was raised, suggested that individual parish baptismal policies may need some flexibility. For example, he stated that, while catechism classes are always ideal prior to baptism, sometimes it may be necessary to arrange to have a newcomer baptized ASAP., followed up by preparation for confirmation.

What are your thoughts?

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April 26, 2012 - Posted by | Liturgy/Worship | , , ,

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