Wednesday, February 19, 2014

COTUB: Communion of the Unbaptized as Practiced in Upper South Carolina

At a recent funeral in our parish church, a priest from a neighboring town acted as the officiant. In the course of the service, in front of an overfilled church and parish hall, he invited all baptized Christians to come up for communion. This was a bit of a change from the invitation given by our rector (who was our of town) at recent large services such as Christmas and Easter where "all" were invited to share in the bread and wine. Sharp eyed observers saw this coming when the new rector (then acting as Priest-in-Charge) removed the old instructions (that the baptized are to partake of the communion) from the service bulletin.

During the walk-abouts in the days preceding the election of Andrew Waldo as the Bishop of Upper South Carolina, it became known that he practiced Communion of the unbaptized (COTUB) at his parish church in Minnesota. When my question was pulled from the hat and presented to him, Bishop-candidate Waldo claimed that he only did it because his assistant priest wanted it. He assured everyone at the walk-about that he WOULD NOT "foist it" on us if elected Bishop of Upper South Carolina.



Since it is apparent that communion of the unbaptized is now accepted practice in our parish, I would like people to be aware that there are a number of reasons why it should not be practiced besides that fact that it puts the lie to our bishop's promise. Here is one,

"The grace which we have by the Holy Eucharist doth not begin but continue life.  No man therefore receiveth this sacrament before Baptism, because no dead thing is capable of nourishment.  That which groweth must of necessity first live."
~ Richard Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity V.lxvii.1 h/t Creedal Christian

So the next time you hear your priest(ess) toss around the old "Hooker's three legged stool" line as if Hooker is an authority that she/he respects, fire the above quotation right back at em. 


  1. Pewster,
    I think the groundwork for COTUB was laid by the 1979 BCP.

    1. That was a good post. Your comment remains true: "The Sacraments are interventions with great efficacy. Why not informed consent? You sign before a surgical intervention."

  2. Pewster,
    You jogged my memory & I found this from a couple of years ago -
    God's peace.