It seems one main reason for the Scotist’s latest absence from the blogs—was baptized on Sunday. Many congratulations to him and his family!
Two little ones truly are a lot of work but, as he notes, blessed work.
I’ve also observed the behavior he notes. That is, many Christians in our tradition and in others do take the Eucharist very seriously. Quite often Roman Catholics and even some protestants will not come to an Episcopal altar for the Eucharist even when it is clearly offered to all baptized Christians. The key here is that we make an invitation; we can not, do not, and should not force any one to accept it. It may be politely declined. In my experience, some Christians from other denominations will not even come forward for a blessing even when that option is presented lest there be any confusion.
We’re currently working on getting a ward of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament up and running at our parish, so I was pondering a bit over the weekend the purpose of the Confraternity in a church were weekly or more frequent communion is now the norm. To my mind, the purpose is a conscious and thoughtful investigation and experience of the theology of the Eucharist. In Eucharistic Devotion, we explore the many implications for the Real Presence of Christ in our midst and what that presence means for us as a community gathered in and as that Body. It’s in light of the links between the Eucharist and ecclesiology that grounds the decision of many to not approach strange altars even where the invitation is genuinely made.
We resurrected a dead branch of the CBS in our parish recently. Personally, I think that the work cut out for the Confraternity these days, now that we’ve won the fight of having the Eucharist as the principal service on Sundays and Major Feasts, and increased the frequency of Holy Communion, is to get people to take it rather more seriously by proper preparation and thanksgiving. Preparation for Communion used to be a very important thing in Anglicanism, and there have been all sorts of guides and manuals written over the centuries to help in that. It seems to have fallen by the wayside somewhat as the frequency of Communion has increased.
Thanks for the shout out!
I wish the CBS were more popular; given the interest in rules of life, one might think devotional societies would be a natural extension for communal worship within the parish. For instance, there is no reason why the CBS could not be intimately involved in carrying out the Cathechumenate in the BOS, or in assisting in the natural sequence of rites beginning with Blessing a Pregnant Woman that would lead into Baptism.