My friend, the Rev. David Petersen, just made an excellent post on first communion and confirmation. Check it out here.
I find that my views on life, the ministry and everything are generally echoed in Rev. Petersen’s words. This tension he describes is a real one. Every time I pass my 7 year old daughter (or the 4 year old for that matter) I feel guilty for not communing her. She knows the catechism. She’s confessed her sins and been absolved. There is no theological reason to withhold the Sacrament from her, and a whole lot of reasons to give it to her.
At the same time, there is real benefit at having a period of formal theological instruction when they are older. Tying the two together, however, is problematic.
I’ve changed my mind on this over the years. Now I agree with Petersen, again. I guess that’s good.