Liturgists: Baptism First

The Council of the Associated Parishes for Liturgy and Mission writes:

Restoring a sacramental order founded on baptism does not mean we should turn anyone away at the Lord’s Table. The issue is whether we wish to undermine the “grammar” of our sacramental language by explicitly contradicting the relation of baptism and communion. Inviting the unbaptized to share in communion does that. Baptism is the defining moment in one’s life, incorporation into a new sacramental identity and vocation for the sake of the world, from which there is no turning back; sharing in communion is the sacramental living out of this priestly vocation as we reenact the truth decisively acknowledged in our baptism. What is at stake in this “grammar” is the meaning not only of the sacraments, but of discipleship, too: baptism is turning to Christ; communion is cleaving to Christ. By undermining this sacramental “syntax” which serves as our corporate memory, we open the door to mindless revision of meaning, to commodification and fragmentation of the sacramental order. And we risk pandering to a culture of spiritual tourism.

Read the rest [PDF].

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