Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Closed communion, open coffee hour

That's what I took away from Dr. Ron Connor's last lecture at the CotRRBP. Closed Communion. Open coffee hour. I'd rather 'open bar', but sadly that would cause a whole set of problems.
The closed communion is, for one, to get away from the really bad, bad notion that the communion should be open to every one and their kid sister, regardless of baptism. No, according to Fr. Connor, the power of the sacraments flow from baptism. Without baptism and all that go with it, the communion is a light snack (my words not Fr. Connor's). I once argued with mummy briefly that you are not a Christian if you are not baptised. I still stand by that. You gotta get dunked or sprinkled (I think dunking is the way and a true baptism.... lingering bits of my Baptist background there).
On the open coffee hour, he mentioned something about the cliquish nature of it. Yup. So in essence it is the closed thing and the whole thing is just backwards. I could see how an open coffee hour could do more to evangelize than an all comers Eucharist. The purpose, for me, of the mass is to worship the Lord and remember his death and resurrection. Not an education for seekers. The lectures and events and programs where individual questions can be addressed and asked would seem more suitable. I learned very little of the Catholic faith by attending mass. I got some bits with the homilies. But where I really learned was in the RCIA class and more recently priest-led/produced podcasts. Places and environments of explaining the WHY one does, what one does at mass.
Still maybe an open bar if the only alcoholic choices are Chardonnay and Merlot.

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