BAPTISM REQUIREMENTS FOR RECEIVING COMMUNION (EUCHARIST) IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH - DR. GIL HAAS, ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Although in most of the Anglican Communion confirmation is a prerequisite for Eucharist, our 1970 General Convention resolved that “children might be admitted to communion before confirmation”. Despite many Episcopal churches dropping the requirement of baptism to receive the Eucharist, our General Convention in 2012 failed to pass a resolution to “invite all, regardless of age, denomination, or baptism to the altar for Holy Communion”. A resolution to study this issue was also rejected. Instead, the Convention resolved that “baptism is the ancient and normative entry point to receiving Holy Communion and that our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to go into the world and baptize all peoples.” Recognizing that unbaptized persons were already receiving communion in many Episcopalian churches, the House of Deputies further resolved that: “We also acknowledge that in various local contexts there is the exercise of pastoral sensitivity with those who are not yet baptized.” However, this sentence was deleted by the House of Bishops. This left in force the canon stating “no unbaptized person shall be eligible to receive Holy Communion in this Church.” Many times someone's baptismal status is unknown, but St. Augustine’s offers Eucharist to anyone who outstretches their hands to receive it. It is important that neither an adult’s nor a child's memory of church should include denial.
~ Dr. Gil Haas, St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church
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