Who can go to the Holy Communion?

Jari Rankinen
Milla Rämö

The Holy Communion is for Christians who have been baptized. In the Lutheran Church, all who have gone to the confession school and have been confirmed can go to the Holy Communion This is how it is sured that the partakers understand the meaning of the Holy Communion and know the difference between the Holy Communion and normal eating and drinking. Also children who have been taught so may partake the Holy Communion with their parents or godparents. And everyone can come to the altar to be blessed.

Sometimes it might feel difficult to go to the Holy Communion. One might feel like he /she is not good enough for it, that one should be better and stronger in faith. That is not how it should be. The Holy Communion is not for our goodness or only for those people who succeed in life. Quite the opposite - the Holy Communion is for those who need forgiveness. In the Holy Communion, the Friend and Redeemer has mercy on those who have failed. The Holy Communion is for all who need forgiveness. It is not for those who think they do not need Jesus.

The Bible warns us on that someone might eat and drink the body and the blood of Christ for that persons own condemnation. Some people to whom this warning was originally given, used to receive the Holy Communion in a way that they did not think it was the Holy Communion. They ate and drank, someone might have been drunk, and the bread and wine was eaten and drank thoughtless, on the side. Paul writes that who partakes the Holy Communion and does not think it is the body of Christ, will eat and drink to his own perdition. This warning has often been understood so that it denies the Holy Communion for those who are not good and whose faith is weak. But this is not the case.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
(1 Corinthians 11:26, ESV)