In the recent answer about fellowship and Communion (question was from an AALC member), the response included the words “closed communion.” I am a lifelong WELS member, and have been taught that we observe “close” not closed communion. Which is correct?
The terms are used interchangeably. The difference depends on the intended emphasis.
Our new Catechism offers this explanation: “We express this truth [that stated in 1 Corinthians 10:17] by practicing close or closed Communion. We might refer to it as ‘close’ Communion because we only commune with those who are united with us in faith. We may also say that we practice ‘closed’ Communion to indicate that the Lord’s Supper is closed to those who believe and teach differently. Whichever term is used, the practice of communing only with those who share a common faith is according to God’s command and testifies to our desire to be faithful to God’s Word.” (Page 368)