On March 20, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) unanimously endorsed “Communion and Covid-19” (CC19), an opinion on certain Holy Communion practices during the coronavirus pandemic.
On June 25, the CTCR released an Addendum to the CC19 opinion: “One little word can fell him: Ten reasons to question whether ‘online Communion’ is ‘truly good, right and salutary.’”
The Addendum was written, in part, as a response to an anonymous document circulated within the Synod titled “Communion in Homes During Times of Crisis: Scriptural and Confessional Principles” (CIH). The CIH document was evidently written and/or endorsed by pastors who are now advocating and practicing online home Communion services in their congregations and who intend to continue the practice. The CIH authors say it is offered “in the spirit of fraternal discussion and edification,” and in it they “share some of the Scriptural and Confessional principles that guided our decision-making.”
It is “in that same spirit,” and for the benefit of the Synod, that the CTCR has drafted the Addendum. It was reviewed and endorsed by the CTCR several months ago (just before Easter), and is being released now to examine the claims of CIH in light of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.
The CTCR’s “Communion and Covid-19” document concludes, “As great as the hardship is when we cannot receive Christ’s body and blood, the hardship ought not be ‘resolved’ in ways that promise an uncertain ‘sacrament’ without the absolute assurance that Christ intends.”
The Addendum similarly notes, “The purpose of this precious Sacrament is to create faith, not raise doubts.”
Both documents, as well as a shorter summary of the Addendum, may be downloaded here.
Posted June 26, 2020