Just as I am lifting up the creative things that congregations are doing around the USA, I am happy to share some of my own gleanings. With Maundy Thursday around the corner, first on the docket is about Holy Communion.
Often I get questions from families about Holy Communion. Questions like “When should my child start communing?” or “Is my child too young to receive communion?” The answer that I have learned through worship class or through my own convictions is whenever the child can reach out his or her hands.
Jesus never gave an age limit at either end in life concerning communion. It’s intended to be a free gift for all people including kids! At Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in South Minneapolis, where I am an intern and director of children’s ministries, I encourage kids to commune at any time or as their parents allow.
But at some point, families attend a hand’s on class where Holy Communion is explored as a celebration, community, forgiveness, love and true presence. Here are some of the things Children’s Ministries at Good Shepherd does to help kids and their families learn about communion:
Kids learn through pretend play with the play communion kits, instructions, and stuffed animals in the worship bags. Kids in the pews can follow the actions of the pastor during the Words of Institution, read the Lord’s Prayer in pictures, and commune a stuffed animal.
Kids learn through practical ideas such as baking unleavened bread, acting out the last supper story, pre-communion taste-test, learning the logistics, and decorating their own chalice.
Kids learn through practiced repetition such as kids helping read the Words of Institution, holding up the elements, and becoming communion assistants. They see what is happening around them and repeat the actions.
Families and kids love learning about the mystery of God together. Our role is to be storytellers of the faith and to create tangible ways for them to engage in God’s story. These are few simple ideas as I am sure you have others! Please share in the comments section as I would love to hear or blog about your ideas.
PS For a pattern for the kit, check out this etsy page for inspiration and download her set at Click Here