One of my greatest stumbling blocks coming into the Orthodox Church was the closed communion table. Growing up Protestant, my experience was that the table was open to anyone who considered themselves to be a Christian. Attending an Orthodox Church and not being able to partake of the Eucharist was difficult for me. I believe in Jesus, isn’t that enough?
My historical studies revealed just how unaware I was of Christian practices before the 20th century. I blogged about that previously; this blog will be focused more on the theological reasons for a “closed table.”
Perhaps the best place to start is with scripture and the questions:
- When did Christians begin partaking of the Eucharist?
- What is the Eucharist?
- Why do Christians partake of it?
- And finally, why is the table open only to Orthodox members in good standing?