First Communion preparation extends beyond the actual day of First Communion. Yes, it is important that children know what to do and to expect. Faith formation during this time speaks to cultivating a sense of wonder, as well as encouraging our children to actively participate at Sunday Mass. At SCORE, the children continued to learn about, and discuss the many ways that they can better participate at Sunday Mass. On one occasion they received a little MASS JOURNAL. The instructions are very simple:
When you attend Mass this Sunday:
listen to the readings at the Children’s Liturgy of the Word,
listen to the prayers,
listen to the songs, and
listen with your heart.
Spend time talking with Jesus.
Write in your Mass Journal: What is Jesus’ special message to you? What is Jesus saying to you as you prepare for your first Communion?
Hmm, What is Jesus saying to me at Mass? What is Jesus asking of all of us as we accompany our children? What graces do we need during this time of our children’s faith formation?
I believe that we are being invited to enter more deeply into the mysteries of our Faith. Are you experiencing a deepening love of Christ present in Eucharist. How is your child helping you to grow in Faith? God does speak to us through our children.
As our children continue to learn more about the Mass, here are some additional talking points, and/or action steps to help our children participate more at Mass. In my heart of hearts, I believe parents are their child’s best worship aid. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST which begins with the . . . .
Presentation of the Gifts – Help your child to name the gifts they are bringing to Jesus this week Let us remember that we bring to God our joys, sorrows, dreams, our brokenness, our hopes….
- Presenting the communal Gifts of Bread and Wine – Before Mass, stop by the sacristy, or speak with an usher to volunteer to bring the Gifts to the Altar, the Table of the Lord. Gifts are presented after the Ministers present the Cups. The presider approaches the Table of the Lord and invites the family to come forward.
- During the Offertory Collection tell your child how we financially support the ministerial outreach of St. Nick’s Parish. Give your child a few loose coins, a dollar to put in the collection basket. Encourage your child to give a portion of their allowance.
Preface – HOLY HOLY – We intone Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory. We lift our hearts in praise and thanksgiving to the God of Jesus. Our communal prayer acknowledges that we are united as one, in Body of Christ. Invite your child to remember all the things they want to thank God for this week
Eucharistic Prayer – Invite your child to thank Jesus for giving his life for us and to us. Encourage your child to watch the actions of the priest. He lifts our gifts of Bread and Wine to our God. Jesus the Christ is present in Bread and Wine, the Body and Blood of Christ. And we give thanks to our God…we become Body of Christ.
The Great Amen – Help your child to see that we are saying Amen to the:
- Real Presence of the Resurrected Christ in Bread and Wine,
- Presence of Christ in us, and
- Presence of Christ in the Faith Community throughout the world and reaching throughout the universe,
The Our Father, we acknowledge our shortcomings, and asking God to forgive us as we forgive others…we seek forgiveness and reconciliation.
We extend Christ’s peace during the Sign of Peace. Encourage your child to share Christ’s peace with those around you.
Communion time – Invite your child to pray quietly and to help him/her see this is a special moment for meeting Jesus. Your child should be accompanying you in the Communion line. At SCORE we have practiced how to fold our arms across our heart for a blessing.