First Communion

Starting the fall of 2019, we began lowering the age of First Communion at Light of Christ. In the fall of 2019 we instructed and communed our 2nd through 4th graders, and then in the Spring of 2020 we invited children of any age to participate in the instruction. 

In light of this new Communion practice we want to briefly outline the reasons for making this change. Pastor Kuenzel preached three sermons on this topic over the summer:

A Believing Heart  (June 30, 2019)   

In the Small Catechism, Martin Luther says that readiness for Communion requires “a believing heart.”  At its heart, faith is a child-like trust in the love of Jesus.  A child-like trust doesn’t require a certain intellectual ability, which is why we commune adults who are developmentally disabled, and elderly adults who may have dementia.  We believe our children have a child-like trust in the love of Jesus, which means that they are ready to receive Holy Communion.

All Are Welcome at the Table  (July 14, 2019)

We confess that all who come with a “believing heart” are welcome at the Lord’s Table.  However, we have one exception: our children who are third grade and younger.  We are afraid that this sends the wrong message to our children – that they are a part of God’s family, but not completely; they belong, but not entirely.  We want them to feel and know that they belong fully to the family of God.  Welcoming them to the Lord’s Table when they are toddlers will deepen their sense of belonging to Jesus and to everyone else who belongs to Jesus.

Standing Under the Mystery  (July 21, 2019)

We believe that Holy Communion is ultimately a mystery.  It is beyond our understanding.  We can understand the essential things about Holy Communion but not everything.  Even though we can, and should, grow in our understanding of the Lord’s Supper over a lifetime, we don’t “understand” the mystery as much as we “stand under” the mystery.  We can “stand under” and “live into” this mystery at any age.  

First Communion Instruction

In Spring of 2021, we plan to have instruction sessions available for any children/families that would like to participate. Dates and more info will be available soon and we invite you to participate in this meaningful time!

At past instruction sessions we have made First Communion banners, painted First Communion chalices, and made the bread for our First Communion services. We will be talking about our options for the spring 2021 class and hope to have more info soon. We do know that Pastor Kuenzel and Kirsten will lead the instruction on the meaning and practice of Holy Communion. In addition, children and parents will do some instruction at home by completing a booklet and watching The Prince of Egypt movie.

Finally, please don’t hesitate to contact Pastor K, Kirsten or LaDonna if you have any questions or concerns about this. We’re happy to have more conversation about this faith milestone in the lives of our children.