Celebrating Communion with Children

I read a quote in one of my favorite “spiritual” books, (Soul Feast), that affirmed the nudge I often feel to reclaim my “joy” at the table. It reminded me that worship, as full-hearted love of God, is meant to permeate our whole lives. The author, Marjorie Thompson, writes thabread and cupt “the single most important thing we can do to change our experience of public worship is to revitalize our practices of personal worship. Public worship – particularly the celebration of the sacraments, requires inward preparation.”

We “come to the table” again this weekend– what a perfect time to prepare yourself and your family to engage in worship with a different quality of awareness. There are many ways your family can prepare to take communion together—and not just for your child’s first communion, but each time you  prepare to come to the Lord’s Table:

  • Bake bread together and talk while it rises– or while you eat it!
  • (Or, if you are like me – less than prepared to bake, buy bread and juice, and talk about Communion as you eat it!)
  • Share your own story of your “First Communion”…and other life-changing meals you’ve had.
  • Read the story of the Last Supper from a Bible (Luke 22 or another Gospel). Read the stories of Jesus’ sharing food with his disciples or the story of “loaves and fishes” (Talk about how Jesus’ lifetime of sharing food and dining with outcasts connects with his final meal.)
  • Volunteer to serve at a shelter or a community meal, and connect the stories of Jesus’ meals with your experiences. How is communion a “foretaste of the feast to come?
  • Talk about the things that make communion “real” rather than simply ritual. This could include things that we do in worship – such as confess and be forgiven – and things to do on your own, such as pray, meditate, and read the Bible.
  • Where do you meet Christ? Do you feel like you meet God each Sunday in church? Do you sense God most on the beach, while you’re praying, or when you hug your children? Encourage children to think about the places where God becomes real to them; relate these stories to meeting Christ at the table.

At Calvary Presbyterian Church, we have Communion on the first Sunday of every month. As parents, it is up to you to note when your child is ready to take communion. We encourage you to watch for signs that your child understands the sacrament, and to keep the lines of communication open as your make this decision as a family. And as always, let us know how we can support you! Have a blessed week!