Original Research

"Saam een liggaam" (1 Kor 10:17)-Deelname van kinders aan die nagmaal

Johan Buitendag
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 57, No 1/2 | a1879 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v57i1/2.1879 | © 2001 Johan Buitendag | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 December 2001 | Published: 14 December 2001

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Johan Buitendag, Departement Dogmatiek-en Christelike Etiek Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

"We are one body" (1 Cor 10:17) - Child participation in Holy Communion. The conclusion of the article is that Holy Communion should include infants. When the broader framework of theologizing happens to be the covellant, this possibility becomes an imperative. Children - together with others - were the outcasts of society. But Jesus reached out to these marginalized people and repaired their status. The author points out that the current practice of excluding children from the Table of our Lord dates back to the Fourth Lateran Council in 1115. This implied that little children, who have not attained the use of reason, are not of necessity obliged to be included in the sacramental communion.  It seems as if Calvin accepted this practice of the church rather uncrincally. The most common argument used to exclude children from Holy Communion, namely that of testing oneself to discern the body of Christ, is based on a misunderstanding of the body of Christ. In this context of Corinthians, the expression is not meant to be the mystical body of Christ, but the real body as expressed by and in the congregation's gathering. And this body should not be torn apart.

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