Nursery Workers and Lord's Supper

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Timmay

Puritan Board Freshman
If nursery workers and other volunteers are serving during corporate worship, but not actually participating in corporate worship, can they partake of the Lord's Supper, especially if they don't hear the Word preached, nor hear the words of institution?

For the sake of argument, there is only one service, and no other volunteers to take the current volunteers' place. Thus the workers would constantly miss out on the sacrament.Yes that issue should be addressed but I want to set it aside to get to the core of my question.

The PCA BCO ch 58 uses language of only administering to those who are "present", and those "in their seats." WCF 27.3, 29.3 say Word and Sacrament go together. Both seem to imply that those who can partake are only those in the same room or who are able to come into the same room that the minister is in. So I guess, do nursery workers count as those "present?"

If they are not "present" could an elder bring the elements to the workers, speak the words of institution, and then the nursery worker partakes, knowing that the nursery worker "has been approved by the Session" (BCO58-4b)?
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
I am interested in what other's think here as well. Currently, in our church, the elders bring the elements downstairs to where the nursery workers are and serve them.
 

Timmay

Puritan Board Freshman
I am interested in what other's think here as well. Currently, in our church, the elders bring the elements downstairs to where the nursery workers are and serve them.
Do the elders speak anything before handing out the elements?
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
could an elder bring the elements to the workers, speak the words of institution...
Just on this point, Tim, BOCO 58.5 makes it clear that only the minister speaks the words of institution at the Lord's Table. Doing so belongs to its essential administration, and only a minister can properly administer the sacraments.

Peace,
Alan
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Interesting you ask this. Our session just made the decision to cease serving the Lord’s Supper to nursery workers.
 

chuckd

Puritan Board Sophomore
For the sake of argument, there is only one service, and no other volunteers to take the current volunteers' place. Thus the workers would constantly miss out on the sacrament.
And the preaching, singing, praying...the whole worship service? They need to start rotating volunteers.
 

Timmay

Puritan Board Freshman
And the preaching, singing, praying...the whole worship service? They need to start rotating volunteers.
Yes obviously. But as I said, please set that aside as I'm trying to focus the question on the central point.
 

chuckd

Puritan Board Sophomore
Yes obviously. But as I said, please set that aside as I'm trying to focus the question on the central point.
Yes, it is a good point and can't argue with it. When we had enough infants and toddlers to justify a nursery, we piped in the service over a speaker. But I don't think the volunteers in there received the Lord's Supper.
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
@Timmay

I cannot see how someone who's been out of the service for either the whole of worship or the preaching and fencing of the Table can rightly partake of the Supper. I think that's what the language of the book is getting at when it says "present" and "in their seats."

Now a "cry room," where someone can step with their child, is customarily outfitted with a speaker so that the service can be participated in and that the preaching and fencing received by the auditors. Such may partake as they return to their seats, though perhaps in the cry room for five-ten minutes; I would judge such to have been sufficiently engaged and thus able to receive the accompanying sacrament along with the Word.

Peace,
Alan
 

itsreed

Puritan Board Freshman
It is good that we consider such a question. Far too many p/r churches do not have a high enough view of the LS to warrant even asking such a question.

We faced this question (we're a small church). We determined that if a person was not present in the sanctuary, we were not able to bring the elements to them. At the very least, doing so defeats the communion aspect of the LS.

Our solution is two-fold: 1) rotation of service servants and, 2) weekly communion. Folks serving one Sunday have regular access to the LS on Sundays they are not serving.
 

beloved7

Puritan Board Freshman
I work both as an usher at times and I also work in the sound booth at times, both positions I will temporarily move closer to be in the sanctuary while participating in the Supper. We’re talking a matter of about 20 feet, but I will not partake when technically in one room away.
 

Parakaleo

Puritan Board Sophomore
We all go sit together a table in the front of the meeting room. The assumption is that anyone in the nursery with an infant was listening to the message via the broadcast to the nursery. Most anyone in the nursery will come sit at the table with their infant at the appropriate time and receive the elements there. If someone must be standing in the rear of the meeting room, holding an infant, one of the elders brings the elements back to them in recognition that they are present, have been attentive to the word, but are providentially hindered from sitting at the table.
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
We all go sit together a table in the front of the meeting room. The assumption is that anyone in the nursery with an infant was listening to the message via the broadcast to the nursery. Most anyone in the nursery will come sit at the table with their infant at the appropriate time and receive the elements there. If someone must be standing in the rear of the meeting room, holding an infant, one of the elders brings the elements back to them in recognition that they are present, have been attentive to the word, but are providentially hindered from sitting at the table.
I think that these conditions as you describe them, Blake, fulfill the necessary requirements for valid communing as they've been described in this thread.

Peace,
Alan
 

Alan D. Strange

Puritan Board Senior
I'm unaware of a scriptural mandate on timing breaks.
I agree (note the "perhaps"), but I think if folks are in the cry room or nursery with their children during the sermon and fencing there needs to be honesty on their part as to whether they've, in integrity, been a part of the worship service. If someone leaves the room for an extended period of time during sermon and fencing, they need to be honest about taking the Supper in good faith.

I've had people who've wanted to take, having been or being in the nursery, hearing neither sermon nor fencing at all, or only in unfollowable snatches. I believe that their wanting to take in those circumstances, at least in a few instances I've seen, savored more of assigning a higher than warrantable, if not to say superstitious, significance to the elements themselves in the Supper, apart from the Word.

I've encountered several over the years saying "I need to take the elements," who had in no meaningful way been a part of the service of divine worship in which the Word was proclaimed and the Sacrament administered. It is not Protestant and Reformed to receive the elements under such circumstances.

Peace,
Alan
 
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