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Why should we give the baby food? It doesn't understand what food is!

Fr. Serge

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Father Bless!

Fr. Serge,

Your biting wit at it's best as always!


Deacon Richard,

I'm still don't understand why it's allowed in the East, but not the West. If it is as you say, (spiritual food > true Christ) then is would seem all the more desirable to have infants partake would it not?

I take my first sentence back. I know why it's allowed in the East, but is the Roman Church saying, "It's been your tradition to do this so we'll let you continue on with it even though we don't think that it's right because we don't allow our infants to do it."? I'm thinking of Eastern Catholics primarily because that's where I see friction between the two practices, but this could easily apply to the Orthodox Churches if reunion were to take place.

Again, I'm not trying to pitch the two against one another, but I'm having a difficult time reconciling the two beliefs.

Help Wanted (smile)

In Christ,
Aaron


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When I studied Church History, including the Didache and the time of St. John Chrysostom, I read that the catechumens were not told about the mystagogia until after their baptism. And I wondered: were they receiving Holy Communion like babies, not knowing that they were receiving the Body of Christ unless they somehow grasped the meaning of the words:

"The servant of God [NAME] partakes of the precious and all-holy Body and Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ unto the remission of sins and unto life everlasting."

Originally Posted by GMmcnabb
Its a disciplinary matter between eastern and western practice. Neither is "incorrect". In the west, theology developed that placed emphasis on knowing and understanding what is going on when one recieves Communion. The east retains the ancient patristic practice of not requiring this knowledge for first hand receiving. In the early days, catechumens were not instructed on the meaning behind the Sacraments. If I remember from my ecclesiology class last semester, there was an issue where non beleivers were making accusations against the Church to the imperial authorities (pre-constantine) based on the beliefs about the Sacraments , so the Early Church did not instruct catechumens (as mentioned above) on that knowledge. After being baptized and recieving first communion, the new memeber of the Church would enter a period of instruction known as "mystagogia" where they would learn about the Sacraments and their meanings. This is retained in the Divine Liturgy of St. Chrysostom in the prayer before communion where we say "I will not speak of the Mystery to Your enemies, nor give You a kiss as did Judas...". At least this is what I think I remember for the reason behind it.


edited by Elizabeth Maria at 10:20 PM PST

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"The servant of God [NAME] partakes of the precious and all-holy Body and Blood of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ unto the remission of sins and unto life everlasting."


I am very disappointed that many priests in the U.S. and in Greece say nothing before administering Holy Communion... and sometimes don't even ask for one's name (and in Greek, this has the shortened version, lest time be an issue, which translates to: 'communed is the servant of God: {NAME}'...it is so much more reverend and awesome when they do. *sigh*

Alice



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Originally Posted by Krotoski
... is the Roman Church saying, "It's been your tradition to do this so we'll let you continue on with it even though we don't think that it's right because we don't allow our infants to do it."?
Aaron,

It's important to realize that this is one of the traditions that had all but disappeared among ECs prior to Vatican II, and even now is only slowly being re-introduced (although I've heard of cases where pastors simply declared "no more First Communions, just have your child come up to Communion ...").

Naturally, it would take the RCC a long time to adjust to this sort of thing, since their practice is so thoroughly ingrained.


Peace,
Deacon Richard


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Naturally, it would take the RCC a long time to adjust to this sort of thing, since their practice is so thoroughly ingrained.
Peace,
Deacon Richard


I think it might take some work in the adminsitration of Holy Communion as well. While my bishop has encouraged our priests to administer the Mysteries under both species, I travel to the eastern part of PA often to visit my children and very rarely do we visit a parish where this is the common practice. In fact, one parish we visited rushed about 1500+ people through eleven "communion stations" in the space of about ten minutes and I wondered how they would ever adopt the practice I'm used to. I should say that this parish has bout 14,000 registered souls and am told that all their liturgies are back-to-back and rushed to get people "in and out."

The problem is that infants may have trouble with the Host. I know I had trouble when I made my own First Communion at age seven.

In Christ,

BOB

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