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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-03 > 0889786216

From: Edward Andrews <>
Subject: Re: resonating etc.
Date: Fri, 13 Mar 1998 10:50:16 +0000

JRose10700 wrote:
> In a message dated 98-03-12 20:46:30 EST, you write:
> << 'll never forget the look
> of hurt and uncomprehension on my 11 year old daughter's face when she
> was refused communion at St. Patrick's in NYC. We're Christians, who
> worship in a Methodist congregation and are used to the celebration of
> an open communion table. >>
> "Closed communion" - which Catholics as well as many Protestant churches
> practice, can be a complexity to explain.
> I am of the belief that anyone who shares the samve views about the Lord's
> Eucharist should be able to partake.

I find this view - which of course is the official teaching of the
Roman Church, and justification for closed Communion somewhat at odds
with the
syncratic views in the post which began this discussion.
For some years the Iona Community have been arguing that when Mass is
celebrated in Iona or at events like the Haddington Pilgrimage, there
should be an open Communion. The reply has always been that unless you
believe what we believe then you cannot receive. It is as much a
matter of discipline as doctrine.
As one who was at both what was alleged to be the first Mass said in
the Abbey grounds, and then in the Abbey itself since the Reformation,
I have watched this discussion with keen interest.
Back in 1966 the Abbey in Iona was under an interdict, It was against
Church law for a priest to say mass there. However two priests, who
were not from the Diocese decided that they would do it, and as the
terms of the deed under which the Abbey is held makes it necessary for
the premises to be made available for the exercise of Worship of any
branch of Christ's Church, we facilitated their service.
At that time the Communion celebrated regularly in Iona was
according to the rite of the Church of Scotland. It was an open table,
and on occasions I either served Roman Catholic Priests, who were
receiving, or were aware of Roman Catholic Priests being present who
did receive.
In my present charge, I make a point in using the formula
"This is the Table of the Lord, not the Table of any one Church, we
therefore invite those baptized into Christ in any tradition to join
with us in this Christ's gift to His Church".
It is not however for us to criticize those who for whatever reason
do not feel able either to join with other people at a Eucharistic
celebration, or who do not feel able to extend eucharistic hospitality
to others. These issues are between them and God.
At the same time, I would have little sympathy for those who seek to
intrude into the rites of any other faith without making enquiries as
to whether or not they are welcome. We do not walk into other people's
houses and expect to be able to sit down for a meal with them. If they
invite us in, that is fine, but we are guests.
The fact that my Theology would claim that I am part of the one family
of Christ, does not entitle me to intrude into the domestic
arrangements of those who do not have the same view.

The parents of the child who was refused communion must accept
responsibility for not only the event, but also the consequences.

In the Temple in Jerusalem, at the boundary between the Court of the
Gentiles and the Court of the Women there were notices which said
words to this effect (I can't be bothered looking up the reference)
Gentiles who are found past this point will be responsible for their
own death which they will have caused.
It may not be an attitude which we resonate with. It is however one
that we have to accept historically happened.

Edward Andrews
St Nicholas Buccleuch Parish Church Dalkeith
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