Readiness for First Communion…What are the signs?
We are approaching the final stretch of class time dedicated to First Communion preparation. Yes, there are four (4) more SCORE classes left before St. Nick’s Parish Community welcomes our children to the Table of the Lord. For the three (3) remaining Sundays of March, and the Sunday class after we return from Spring break (4/27) we are planning meaningful activities to help the children ready their minds and hearts for their first Communion.
Our lessons reflect the following themes: responding with a thankful heart to the awareness of God’s love; fostering a relationship with Jesus Christ in prayer and worship; cultivating an appreciation and active participation in the Mass; and, developing a sense of belonging to St. Nicholas Parish Community.
Class lessons are designed to help determine if each child is ready to approach the Table of the Lord. To help you discern your child’s readiness consider the following signs:
- a developing relationship with Jesus Christ and with the Church;
- a familiarity with the prayers, postures, and parts of the Mass and their connection to life;
- sense of the “real presence” – that the bread of Eucharist is not ordinary bread, rather, Jesus coming to us in a special way.
Last Sunday’s activities included a three-fold movement as we explored and “practiced” elements of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
- To help the children understand our communal response: “Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof, say but the word and my soul will be healed.” they participated in a dramatization of “The Soldier Who Believed” from Matthew 8:5-13.The soldier approaches Jesus, with a simple request, please heal my servant…Jesus’ response,”I’ll come right away.” This activity helped us to discover that “come under my roof” in the Mass, refers to the roof of my mouth. At Mass, we believe in the power of Jesus’ Word to heal us. “Oh, I get it!” “So that’s were it comes from” were spontaneous comments from the kids. God’s grace at work preparing our community. [This story was shared with one class; next week the class will do the classroom dramatization.]
- Our Offertory gave us the opportunity to express “THANKS.” We discussed the many gifts God so generously shares with us. The prompt: What gift of yourself would you choose to offer to God during the presentation of the GIFTS. On slips of paper shaped like loaves a bread the children wrote out their gifts. These were collected in our offering plate and presented to Jesus present in our classroom community.
- Role playing the Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest, and the Words of Jesus- “Do This in Memory of Me.” created the space for the adults and junior catechists to share their faith, and to answer the children’s question to deepen their sense of wonder and awe in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Bread and Wine offered in Faith by the priest and our parish community.
With your help, your child will know his/her readiness for First Communion. God Bless you!