Why Do Catholics…Part 2 – Celebrate Communion

This Saturday is my oldest daughter’s First Communion!  She has her pretty white dress and veil andcommunion3 she’s practiced and is anxiously awaiting this day!  She’s seen her parents and her older brother take Communion and has desired to be a part of it too.  So in her preparations, I wanted to make sure that she understood what she was partaking in and how amazing Christ’s sacrifice was for us.

So here is my kid friendly version of how to explain Communion:

Back when Jesus lived, he celebrated holidays with his family and friends just like we do.  He went to a holy city called Jerusalem to celebrate Passover with his loved ones.  Passover was the remembering of a time when God saved them.  It involved making special foods and sharing it with beloved friends and family.

Christ was coming up to the time of his crucifixion and death and he knew that this was the last celebration, the Last Supper, that he was going to have with his disciples.  And he wanted to make sure that they knew this time was more important than just their usual celebration of Passover.  At dinner that evening, he took the bread that they were going to eat, broke it into pieces and said, “Take this, all of you,  and eat of it, for this is my body, which will be given up for you.”  After they had eaten the bread, he took the cup of wine and said, “Take this, all of 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 many for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in memory of me.”  These amazing words mean that we partake in this one sacrifice of Jesus every time we go to mass.  That means that we celebrate his sacrifice every time we go to mass.  And because he said that this is his body; this is his blood, it truly is his Body and Blood that he gave up for us.  He died for us!  And by taking the Body and Blood of Christ, our spiritual food,  inside ourselves, we are sharing in the beauty of that sacrifice.

Jesus didn’t say that the bread and wine represent or symbolize his body and blood, rather, he took it even further to say “Unless you eat the body of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”  So although it may seem a bit confusing, it’s a communion2beautiful mystery that you can ask God about when you get to Heaven!

Eucharist is a word to describe this part of mass where we celebrate his sacrifice and it means “Thanksgiving” because we are so thankful that Christ suffered and died so that we may go to Heaven to be with Him!

If your child is a little older and they want to learn a fancier term, teach them “transubstantiation,” which means that the bread and wine become Christ’s body and blood, even though they still just look like bread and wine.

And if they are a bit younger and aren’t ready to receive their First Communion yet, still teach them reverence of the Blessed Sacrament and take them to Adoration to spend time with Jesus – even if it’s only 5 minutes!

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Coming next week – Why Do Catholics…Part 3 – Have statues?

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