“Being a priest is like having a super power you can only use when you share it. Unless you’re here, I can’t celebrate communion. The priest needs you!”
Education about Eucharist
Communion, or Holy Eucharist, is an ongoing conversation for all of us. As a priest, I have the responsibility for teaching those who come to the altar rail. I love to teach kids. Kids are certainly able to relate to the practice and the idea of communion in deeper ways at different times in their lives. Since we don’t offer “First Communion,” I do think it’s important to offer instruction at various points throughout our kids’ lives.
I have a number of topics I like to cover with young children, some theological, some practical. Here are 10 points I always like to highlight.
10 Things to Tell Children About Communion
1. Communion is a holy meal, not a Happy Meal.
Although as a holy meal it can certainly make you happy.
2. Communion is not a snack.
We don’t take communion just because we’re hungry in the middle of the service. That’s what Goldfish during Sunday school are for. It’s a meal for the soul, not the body.
3. Communion is not a to-go meal.
Finish it at the communion rail. There are no communion doggie bags.
4. There is no “kids’ table” at church.
Everyone, regardless of age, is welcome to receive at the Lord’s Table.
5. Communion connects us to Jesus.
6. Communion connects us to the disciples at the Last Supper.
And it connects us to everyone who, like us, have followed Jesus for hundreds and thousands of years.
7. Take, Bless, Break, Give.
That’s the four-fold action of the Eucharist. Start chanting!
8. A priest can’t to do this by him/herself.
Being a priest is like having a super power you can only use when you share it. Unless you’re here, I can’t celebrate communion. The priest needs you!
9. The ordinary becomes extraordinary.
Through the priest’s prayers and your participation, ordinary bread and wine become extraordinary. Amen.
10. The word “communion” means connection.
When we take communion, our connection to, or relationship with Jesus and one another is made stronger.
Tim Schenck is an Episcopal priest, a syndicated columnist with GateHouse Media, author, and rector of the Episcopal Parish of St. John the Evangelist in Hingham, Massachusetts, and the creator of Lent Madness. You can read his blog here, or follow him on Twitter @FatherTim.
This article, in its full form, was first published on Tim’s blog Clergy Confidential.
photo by Episcopal Diocese via Flickr, CC by 2.0.