Caroline received Holy Communion this afternoon for the first time. I am so proud of her!
I’ll explain our reasoning behind her celebrating her First Communion now, as our Southern Baptist family might not understand the idea of a First Communion and our Roman Catholic family will not understand why she received hers so young.
In the Episcopal church, we often say “All can. None must. Some do.” to explain the ways people participate in the service. Traditionally, children are baptized soon after birth and begin receiving communion immediately (or as soon as they start to reach for it.) In our priest’s words, the child never knows a time she is not welcome at the Lord’s Table.
Having grown up Roman Catholic, John was used to a bit more ceremony and instruction before First Communion. Having grown up Southern Baptist (and coming to terms with infant baptism, which is a long blog post that I might write about some day), I liked the idea of having Caroline’s First Communion be similar to baptism in the Southern Baptist churches (or more specifically, a child, like me and mine, raised in a Christian home, attending church regularly, always knowing that Christ is our Savior) — once a child is able to articulate, or profess, her faith.
So, we waited. And Caroline can now explain her beliefs in a child’s refreshing way. Her Godparents were able to join us today. Our small church is flexible enough to allow us to choose how and when.
Caroline has decided that she will intinct her bread, though, as she doesn’t like the wine. And since we’re Episcopalians, that is just fine.