Even if persons with developmental disability lack the potential to ever reason abstractly, their experience of the Mysteries (the Sacraments) can be just as rich as those who can reach that stage. For the Mysteries have Divine depth, and always beckon one forward to greater participation and fuller comprehension of their import. For the experience ultimately transcends conceptualization.
Fr. John Breck, in the chapter “Down Syndrome at Pascha,” in his book God With Us: Critical Issues In Christian Life And Faith, in the chapter “Down Syndrome at Pascha,” describes such an experience:
Marie, a woman with Down Syndrome, at the Holy Friday service: (pp. 66-67)
“She was entirely dressed in black. Her face was streaked with tears, her head was bowed, and her arms hung down at her sides. As she approached the shroud, she slowly made the sign of the cross three times, prostrated herself before it, and for a moment kept her head to the floor. Then she rose, kissed the face and then the feet of Christ, and finally venerated the Bible and the Cross. “
Image from the website of ST. MATTHEW THE APOSTLE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA