JLS 67

Infant Communion Post-Reformation to Present-Day

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Joint Liturgical Studies 67

In Infant Communion: The New Testament to the Reformation I expressed the hope that I could extend the Study to our own times.’ This essay fulfils that hope. But, while from at least the third to the thirteenth centuries infant communion was widely practised, in the period of the present Study its practice was largely confined to the east. With a few notable exceptions, the west accepted the medieval and reformation consensus that it was at best inappropriate or at worst impossible. I have recorded such references and debates as I have found, but their tone was often desultory. Most recently, however, the old consensus has been vigorously challenged and, if the previous Study began with the practice of infant communion and ended with its abandonment, the present Study begins with that abandonment as a ‘given’ but concludes with the beginnings of a revival.