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Children at the Lord's Table

The following resources (all PDFs) address the theological and procedural questions concering baptized children participating in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

  • We Come To Your Table: A Booklet for Families on the Sacrament of Communion
    This booklet has been prepared as a resource for families. It may be used in preparing children for coming to the Lord’s Table for the first time. It is also to be used in continually nurturing children for meaningful life-long participation in the sacraments. (Originally printed 1991, updated 2012)

Baptized Children and the Lord's Table: 1990

Baptized children are welcomed to the Lord's Table because they are members of the church and thereby fitting recipients of the grace which God makes available to the covenant community through word and sacrament. In the Reformed tradition, baptism is regarded as a sign and seal of incorporation into the body of Christ. Children are to be baptized because they, no less than their parents, have been promised "the forgiveness of sins through Christ's blood and the Holy Spirit who gives faith." (Heidelberg Catechism, Question 74.) There are no second class citizens of the covenant community.

Read more. (PDF)


Children at the Lord's Table: 1988

The Commission on Theology has studied the 1977 and 1984 papers and the issue referred to it by subsequent actions of the General Synod. The present Commission on Theology agrees with past commissions and concludes that the proposal to include baptized children at the Lord's Table is fully consonant with the reformed doctrines of baptism and the Lord's Supper and the work of the Holy Spirit, and that no serious impediments to the proposal emerge from biblical, historical, or theological grounds. [This report also includes a timeline of synod deliberation on this issue.]

Read more. (PDF)

Baptized Non-Communicants and the Celebration of the Lord's Supper: 1984

The commission believes that ultimately the question of whether baptized children may be permitted to eat at the Table must be answered theologically. It agrees, moreover, that the 1977 paper provides such theological answers. The present paper builds on the 1977 study and attempts to support it with insights from historical theology and the behavioral sciences.

Read more. (PDF)

Baptized Non-Communicants and the Celebration of the Lord's Supper: 1977

The Synod of 1973 instructed the Theological Commission to prepare a study of baptized children at the Lord's Table. The study is herewith submitted to the General Synod, and it addresses itself to the following areas of concerns: the place of baptism in the life of the church; the meaning of "baptized non-communicant members"; the place of the Lord's Supper in the life of the church; the place of children at the Lord's Table; the need to provide for an occasion of affirmation and commissioning; a suggested procedure for the local church; and a conclusion with recommendations.

Read more. (PDF)

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