On Sunday 24 November, the feast of Christ the King, some members of our Sunday School will be receiving Holy Communion for the first time at the Parish Eucharist.
This is the second time we will be admitting young people to communion ‘before Confirmation’ at St Jude’s in accordance with the permission granted us last year by the Bishop of Edmonton.
Inviting young people to receive communion at this stage in their Christian lives recognizes that they have been ‘full members’ of the church since their baptism, and affirms the commitment they have expressed through (at least one year of) regular attendance at church and in a continuing programme of education at Sunday School.
At a later stage in their journey they will be invited to make a further commitment with a personal declaration of faith before the community and before the bishop who represents the wider church. They will receive from the bishop the sacrament of Confirmation to strengthen them on their journey.
In principle communicant children will be present in church for the Liturgy of the Sacrament (i.e. from after the Peace).
‘Communion before Confirmation’ (or rather ‘Communion after Baptism’) is a return to the ancient custom of the church and is now the practice in many parishes. However, because it is not yet universal, it should be made clear that admission to Holy Communion before confirmation is for the time being "for this parish only", but unconfirmed communicants who move to another parish will be commended to their new incumbent as communicant members of the church.
The article Preparing for Communion – the work of a lifetime published in the 2013 edition of the Spire gives a fuller account of the thinking behind our policy.