Protestant communion for my son?


#1

Thanks for reading my post. I hope someone can help!

In a couple weekends my mother and step-father will be watching our 2 1/2 year old son overnight on a Saturday night. They always go to church on Sunday mornings at a non-denominational Christian church and I’m sure that weekend will be no exception. They’ll want to show off their grandson after all! My concern is that as they pass the communion wafers around during the service my mother will give one to my son. Should I advise her not to do this? I converted to Catholicism just before he was born. I’m the only Catholic in my family. I haven’t had too many Catholicism discussions with my parents since then. My wife is a cradle Catholic.

Thanks for your help.

Peace,

Mike


#2

I doubt it since most Lutheran bodies also have “first communion” and it is not their practice to communicate infants.


#3

Yes you should request that they not allow him to take communion. In non-denominational churches communion is passed around like you mentioned. But it is not uncommon for children to not take it for one reason or another. Please request your son not be given communion. :slight_smile:


#4

I am considered “protestant” so you may want to ignore me but…

A non-denominational church would not have the real presence. So the crackers they pass around are simply crackers. I am sure the 2 1/2 child eats crackers all the time, and probably won’t be able understand why he can’t have crackers here when everyone else is having one. He may even think he’s being punished.

Even if it’s not the Eucharist, it is still done in memory of Christ. Which is not a bad thing. It just doesn’t convey the full grace that the Eucharist does. Unless this 2 1/2 year old is spiritually wise beyond his years, I don’t think he would understand that, and even if he could understand it, the Catholic Church would not hold it against him since he has not reached the age of reasoning.

Since it is not the Eucharist, and it is a commemoration of the Last Supper, wouldn’t it be more of a sin against charity to place such a burden on your parents to have to deal with a 2 1/2 year old who gets confused, unhappy and angry because he can’t eat a cracker at grandma and grandpa’s church?

When he gets older you can explain how that is not the Eucharist and he should not take it when he is at grandma and grandpa’s church, but at 2 1/2 he is not going to understand.

I would finally recommend not taking the responses from this forum as the final word. Talk to your priest and ask him.


#5

You can ask your mother gently, but be sure you have time for explanations and feel comfortable giving them.

If you find that they don’t understand or end up not complying with your request, I wouldn’t make too much of an issue over it. Your son is under the age of reason and your parents are not Catholics so neither can be held to the standard of the Church.

If you anticipate that your son will frequently be with Grandma on Sunday mornings in the future, you will need to be sure that by the time of his real First Communion that he understands the difference and that you can coach him with appropriate things to say when refusing the memorial communion at their church. Then also, be sure you get him to a Sunday afternoon or evening Mass after he is back with you.

Many non-denominational churches, and mainline protestants, do not hold their memorial communion every week or at every service on a Sunday. If possible, time his vists for non-communion weekends or ask your parents to attend the non-communion service so this issue doesn’t come up.


#6

I tend to agree with Gelsbern. Your child is 2 1/2 years old so will have no understanding. If the parents give him this unconsecrated cracker and/or grape juice where would the sin be and who would be culpible?
What sin could there be? Accepting as the Body of Christ that which is not?
Does your parents’ Church believe the wafer as the real presence or a spiritual memorial??

The two year old cannot be culpable since he is not old enough.
The Grandparents would be acting in good conscience especially since you have not had many conversations about your catholic beliefs so there is little cupability there.

You migth choose to talk to them about it and ask that he not be given communion unless he fusses in which case tell them it’s OK.

The above is purely my opinion.

If it really does bother you I would suggest you talk to your priest about it and then talk to your parents based upon what your priest says.

Peace
James


#7

As someone who grew up in those denominations, they do not permit infants and toddlers to “recieve”. Tell your mom that you know that your son has not yet reached the “age of reason” and when he does, he will recieve communion in the Catholic Church only.

Do not give in on this, if need be, just have someone else watch your child on Sunday so this will not be an issue,


#8

On one hand your son is young enough that no harm would come if he did partake of something. It would just be food to him. On the other hand you might as well start educating your parents now on how to respect the religion that you are raising him and that would mean not pressuring him to partake of certain activities in their church while he is in their care.

Perhaps a gentle discussion and see how it is received.


#9

Lutheran?


#10

As other posters have pointed out, many Protestant denominations do not give communion to infants and toddlers, and many ask them not to give their children communion until their child has accepted Christ as their savior. So, this may not even be too much of an issue.


#11

If the non-denominational church has a communion service, I’ll buy you box of crackers! What a rarity!

Seriously, many Protestant churches are having communion services only a few times a year now.

UNLESS…the church in question is a Christian church/church of Christ/disciples of Christ church, of the Campbellite tradition, or part of the “Restoration Movement.” Then they will have communion at every meeting, because this is what the New Testament Christians did. However, they generally do not offer communion to toddlers. Even though the Protestants do not believe that Jesus is truly present in the bread and grape juice, they still respect and have reverence for the meaning of communion as a memorial for Jesus Christ, and don’t consider it appropriate for toddlers.

One suggestion–send along with Grandma a small bag of oyster crackers or goldfish crackers and a little container (spill-proof) of juice. This is perfectly acceptable in most Protestant churches. If a communion is offered, then grandma can give the little boy a snack and drink so he doesn’t feel left out and start fussing.


closed #12

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