I was struck recently by an article in the Church Times entitled ‘See the children’s bread from heaven’ Peter Hill, the Arch-deacon of Nottingham outlines a diocesan motion to be put before the Synod that seeks to allow children to distribute communion. He writes of his own experience in informal settings of receiving bread and wine from the hands of a child; ‘it has always been a most natural and graceful act of sharing in Christ’s love and goodness.’
Whilst it is hard to imagine the Catholic Church discussing this motion, it nevertheless raises for me some important issues regarding children and how we see their contribution to our worshiping communities. Madeleine Simon, in her book, Born Contemplative, sees children as natural contemplatives. Watch a child at play and you will glimpse something of Madeleine Simon’s understanding. Children have an innate capacity for awe, wonder and reverence. When I think back to the children whom I taught, I can name several who would, without any training, have made very reverent ministers of the Eucharist. Maybe one day our church will discuss this too?
Church Times 16 November 2012