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What specific traditions (or denominations inside a tradition) currently practice paedocommunion?

  • Are there any that practice paedocommunion but not paedobaptism?
  • Are there any that historically practiced it but have given it up?

I am specifically interested in the treatment of infants, not children.

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It might be a good idea to define "pedo-communion". Google doesn't provide much help there and exactly when a child has come of age might be in dispute. As an aside, in the church I attended with my parents, children where invited to the altar, but given grapes if their parents did not allow them to take the usual elements. Parents were free to choose for their children which they should take. Would this count? –  Jon Ericson Feb 16 '12 at 7:36
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@JonEricson: Actually I'm very specifically interested in infants, not the debate over when a child might be considered accountable or anything like that. I know lots of churches have varied practices with children, but infants ought to be a little more clear cut. See my edit. –  Caleb Feb 16 '12 at 18:51
    
@Caleb: Good point. Some approach the paedobaptism/communion from a stand point of cognizance and maturity, but that's categorically different from the "real" paedo argument which (from what I understand as a credo-baptist) views these more as signs of covenant membership (which is argued to be warranted for children of believers) rather than signs of an active and cognitive state of repentance (which credo's say should precede baptism and communion). IOW, a credo might be tempted to argue something like "The baby doesn't know he's a sinner," to which a "good" paedo might reply "So?" –  Steven Feb 16 '12 at 22:32

3 Answers 3

The Orthodox practice paedocommunion and the Roman Catholics used to but don't anymore. I can't speak to your second point though.

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I think Catholic children do if there is danger of death, but I'm not sure so I asked –  Peter Turner Feb 16 '12 at 16:41

I found this website which lists currently practicing denominations:

  • Confederation of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC)
  • Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA)
  • Covenant Presbyterian Church
  • Federation of Reformed Churches (FORC)
  • Reformed Episcopal (REC)

I'm not sure which denominations/traditions have stopped practicing paedocommunion, but I would be surprised if there were any that offered communion to children of believers without also baptising them. From my understanding, the argument for paedocommunion is that the children are considered part of the covenant and are welcomed as members of the church body (this being sybolized w/ baptism), so they should be welcome as participants in all of its sacraments and not excluded from the communion table.

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There is another argument for it in the RCC for those of us who want it — the sacraments of initiation are not done in their proper order as it is. The ancient (and proper) way was Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist (then the rest). Now, for most Catholics, it's Baptism, Confession, Eucharist, Confirmation. –  cwallenpoole Feb 16 '12 at 14:50

Catholics of the Eastern Churches (Ruthenian, Ukranian, Melkite, etc), like the orthodox, baptize, commune and chrismate infants.

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