Four Ways to Help Prepare Your Child for First Communion
Talk to them about the Eucharist in ways that relate to their own lives.
3. Sacrifice. Christ's sacrifice on the cross was the offering of his Body and Blood to the Father as gifts for the salvation of the world. In the Eucharist, we offer the Father this gift of Jesus. It is the greatest gift we can give the Father, and we receive abundant blessings because of this. You can use the concept of gift giving to help your children understand the sacrificial element of the Eucharist. Here are some points to make:
- "We give gifts as a sign of our giving ourselves to people we love."
- "Friends like to share with us our gifts to them --like candy or toys--as a way of uniting themselves to us in love."
- "In the Mass, we give bread and wine to God as signs of our giving ourselves to him. God unites our self?giving with the bread and wine. Through the action of the priest, the Holy Spirit transforms the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. This act makes present the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and its divine power of salvation for us. When we receive Communion, we are united with Jesus and transformed by his saving power into him. When we eat ordinary bread, we change the bread into ourselves. When we eat Christ's eucharistic Bread, he changes us into himself by giving us a deeper share in his divine life and love. God accepts our gifts (bread, wine, ourselves) and changes them by uniting them with himself. Then he gives them to us to share in Holy Communion."
4. Celebration. We have parties to celebrate events and anniversaries, and the Eucharist is a celebration of the most important event ever. You may find the following themes helpful:
- "At parties, we celebrate with special foods and drinks, and we do things like sing and dance to express how we feel."
- "The Eucharist is a celebration. We gather with friends to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus."
- "The Eucharist is a thanksgiving celebration of what God has done for us in Christ."