In “ye olden days” of my childhood, I participated in something called
It used to be the custom of the Episcopal Church to have a child not receive Holy Eucharist until a certain age….I think I was in second grade based on the haircut I had in the picture that immortalized my First Communion (see below)
The tradition now in the Episcopal Church- at practiced here at St. Mary’s- is that Holy Communion is the meal of the baptized. As long as you have been baptized you are able to partake in the Holy meal. So we have babies who will gum the bread, unbaptized adults who abstain, and everything in between.
But Holy Eucharist/Communion/The Lord’s Supper/The Feast of the Baptized/Jesus Bread Time (mainly what it is called in the nursery) is more than consuming.
It is a transformative experience that we are invited into at least once a week. And so we at St. Mary’s believe that it is important for people to know exactly what it is that they are doing each Sunday when they come forward to the altar with their hands palm up. And it is the hope from the Diocese of Texas that by the time children reach the age of 8 they will have had some sort of instruction on what the Eucharist is all about.
St. Mary’s is excited to share that Communion Instruction will be offered this Spring! It will be taught during the Sunday School hour on Sunday mornings starting April 3rd. All children are invited to participate, and we will celebrate the children’s time in learning about communion by inviting them on Mother’s Day to come to the altar rail with their new-found understanding of communion and receive the bread and wine. No need to sign up- just come to Sunday School!
This may be different from what you did as a child. But while the method of instruction may be different, what Communion is isn’t. And you can even take awkward pictures at the end of the service to remember this great moment.
If you are wanting to read up on what Holy Eucharist is all about read here what Bishop Andy Doyle has to say and read the materials he and the Diocese of Texas provide. The Sunday School class will use a different book in class, but this is a fabulous tool for parents to use.
If you have questions about your child participating, or if you yourself are seeking some adult Holy Eucharist Instruction, please see Revd. Beth, Revd. Katie or Mel Kimbrough.