“Love one another as I have loved you.”
“There is no greater love than to give one’s life for one’s friends.”
“Does this mean we have to die for our friends in order to follow Jesus’ example? No! There are many ways we can ‘give our lives’ for our friends… How? By looking out for their happiness before our own, by giving them a gift or some help…it’s up to you to discover the right ones.”
Source: MagnifiKid! From Lisa Reno. May 6, 2018. Vol. 15. Part 6. Section 2. Page 3
For Parents to Teach to Their Children
May Is First Holy Communion Month In Many Parishes
May is a glorious month for First Holy Communion. The weather is warm. Flowers are in bloom. In Southern California, where I live, butterflies are out again, and it feels like an entirely new season is upon us. What a perfect month for young children to receive their first Communion. This week is a good week for practicing, final touches, and for a review of what First Holy Communion means. If your child has already received First Holy Communion… Congratulations! The information below is still useful.
Practicing the actions and decorum of receiving Communion is very helpful. Help refine the way your child makes the Sign of the Cross, uses the dominant hand to cup the other hand to receive the Consecrated Host and then again uses the dominant hand to place it in the mouth. Make sure your child is very clear that the Consecrated Host must go into the mouth immediately and cannot stay in the hand as the child walks away. If your child will receive the Eucharist on the tongue, encourage practicing tilting the head back and gently putting the tongue out. Impress upon your child that the Eucharistic Feast–The Body and Precious Blood– are the Real Presence of Christ and deserve utmost respect.
Even though the Body of Christ tastes, smells, and looks like bread, through the Holy Spirit, it has become the real Body of Christ. Likewise, If your child is going to receive the Precious Blood of Christ from the chalice, practice this at home with a goblet containing water. It the Precious Blood spills, everything will stop and the priest will have a special way and cloth to clean it up. The Precious Blood cannot be treated like spilled water. The Consecrated Wine is the Blood of Christ. If it is possible, ask your priest if your child can taste an unconsecrated piece of Altar Bread. Wine is an entirely foreign taste to children. At least, let them smell red wine at home if you have it. Talk to your child about taking a tiny sip and not a big gulp from the chalice, when they receive the Precious Blood. Decorum dictates that they not make any faces and are composed. Undoubtedly, the children in CCD classes are practicing the procession, kneeling, and praying, with their teacher. Practice at home calms nerves. Have a beautiful First Communion for your child. Enjoy the important day ahead!
A Review of What We Have Learned
Source: First Eucharist Sadlier Sacrament Program Pages 58-59
“Jesus, thank you for being our Bread of Life.”
- “What does the word Eucharist mean? Eucharist means ‘giving thanks.’ In the Eucharist we give thanks to God.“
- “Why do we give thanks to God? We give thanks to God for Jesus, God’s greatest gift to us.”
- “What did Jesus do for us? Jesus showed us how to live our faith. He died on the cross for us and rose again that we might have a new life.“
- “When did Jesus give us the Eucharist? Jesus gave us the Eucharist at the Last Supper, the night before He died.“
- “What happens to the bread and wine at Mass? By the power of the Holy Spirit and the words and actions of the priest, the bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Christ.“
- “Whom do we receive in Holy Communion? We receive Jesus, the Bread of Life.“
Two Beautiful Prayers for First Holy Communion
Source for Both Prayers: We Believe & Celebrate First Communion Page 95
“Prayer Before Communion”
“Jesus, you are the Bread of Life.
Thank you for sharing your life with me.
Help me always to be your friend and disciple.
Jesus, help me to welcome you into my heart.
Help me to be true to you always.”
“Prayer After Communion”
“Jesus, you do such great things for me!
You fill me with your life.
Help me grow in loving you and others.
Jesus, thank you for coming to me in Holy Communion.
I love you very much. You come to live within me.
You fill me with your life.
Help me to be and do all that you wish.”
We Learn Through Song
“Bread of Life”
Excerpt from “The Eucharist Prayer I”
At the Last Supper, Jesus “said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT,
FOR THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.”
“Once more giving thanks, he said the blessing and gave the chalice to his disciples, Saying:
TAKE THIS, ALL FOR YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT
FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD,
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT,
WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY
FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.”
Source: A Missal for Children Pages 39-41
Our First Communion Art Project
This is an art project to remind your children that wheat and grapes were foods Jesus ate all his life. Wheat is ground to flour to make bread, and grapes are pressed and fermented to make wine. They are essential aspects of Communion and cannot be replaced with any other food.
Three Versions of drawing and painting grapes: Child’s choice!
Note* Keep this project fun and simple. Youngest kids might enjoy a fast watercolor abstract of the grapes. They can use a round sponge on a stick, available at most craft stores, rubbed in wet watercolor paint to make the grapes. Whatever is fun works!
Wheat, Grapes, Ciborium, Cruet
“The Mystery of Faith”
“What a miracle!
God changed bread and wine
into the Body and Blood of Jesus.
This is the difficult part of the mystery of our faith.
Though it is difficult to understand,
Jesus did die.
He rose from the dead
and He will come again.
He is always with us.
He told us He is the Bread of Life
and that he will be with us always.
He told us to eat His Body
and drink His Blood
in remembrance of Him.
So even though it looks like bread and wine,
the Eucharist is really
the Body and Blood of Jesus!
Jesus told us so!”