At St. John’s, we follow the historic practice of closed communion, which means that participation in the Lord’s Supper is generally restricted to members of St. John’s and the LCMS, and members of churches that are in altar fellowship with the LCMS.
We practice closed communion for two reasons: 1) to prevent harm to an individual who should not be participating in the Lord’s Supper (e.g., one who doesn’t believe that Christ’s body and blood are truly present in the Sacrament), and 2) to recognize and uphold communion as a public confession of united belief. This confession entails not just personal faith in Christ but also belief in the Faith as taught at St. John’s and in the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
For these reasons, it’s important that all visitors with an interest in communing speak with the pastor before participating. The Lord’s Supper is a gift that brings powerful blessings to recipients, but only when administered properly.
For questions about communion at St. John’s, please contact our pastor.
We take seriously the spiritual care of those who commune at our altar. At St. John’s we celebrate the Lord’s Supper in the confession and glad confidence that, as He says, our Lord gives into our mouths not only bread and wine but His very body and blood to eat and to drink for the forgiveness of sins and to strengthen our union with Him and with one another. Our Lord invites to His table baptized believers who trust His words, repent of all sin, set aside any refusal to forgive and love as he forgives and loves us, and confess what is taught and believed at this altar, that they may proclaim His death until He comes.
Because those who eat and drink our Lord’s body and blood unworthily do so to their great harm and because Holy Communion is a confession of the Faith which is confessed at this altar, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold a confession differing from that of this congregation (that is, belong to another church body or denomination) and yet desire to receive the sacrament, are asked to refrain from communing until they’ve spoken with the pastor. In order to ensure the proper administration of the Lord’s Supper, we also ask that guests from other LCMS congregations notify the pastor before communing.
For further study, see Matthew 5:23f.; 10:32f.; 18:15-35; 26:26-29; 1 Cor. 11:17-34.
*Adapted from the Model Statement offered by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (2014).