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Holy Communion

To help children understand why Christians celebrate Holy Communion.

by The Revd Sophie Jelley

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To help children understand why Christians celebrate Holy Communion.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a bottle of red wine (opened) or red juice, a glass or chalice, a bread roll (or you could use a piece of pitta bread), a freestanding cross.
  • Familiarize yourself with 1 Corinthians 11.23–26.

Assembly

  1. Explain that today we are thinking about one of our favourite subjects: food! We all have favourite foods – think in your head silently of your favourite food. Walk round and ask several children to whisper their favourite food in your ear and then tell the other children.

  2. When we eat some foods they remind us of a special place. Give examples: maybe you think of the seaside when you eat a certain flavour ice cream. (The writer used the example that fresh pineapple reminded her of Uganda because she lived there for a while and told them a bit about what it was like.)

  3. Some foods even remind us of special people. Does anyone have a food that reminds them of a special person? You may get answers such as, ‘My granny always gives us home-made cake.’
  4. Introduce the Bible story, saying that it has some special food in it but it wasn’t special at the time – it was quite ordinary. Take out the bread and wine and place them on a small table in front of you. Enact the story using the bread and wine as you speak. Pour a little wine into the glass or chalice.

    This is what happened one evening in Jerusalem. It was festival time for the Jews and Jesus, like all good Jews, was sharing a meal with his friends. Jesus took some bread, thanked his Father God for it, and broke it into pieces for them all to eat. Then he said something quite strange: ‘This is my body given for you.’ After that he took a cup of wine, thanked God for it and passed the cup round so that everyone could drink. Then he said something else strange: ‘This is my blood – poured out for you.’ Then he said to them: ‘Do this to remember me.’

  5. Jesus was telling his special friends what was going to happen to him, and also giving all his followers a way to remember him. Explain that this ordinary food for the time (bread and wine) is still shared by Christians (people who follow Jesus) today to remember Jesus and his death on the cross. In church Christians share bread and wine every week (called a Holy Communion service or Eucharist) in order to remember Jesus and what he did for all people, because he loved them so much. Christians also believe that Jesus, who came back from the dead, is with them in a special way when they share food and drink together.

  6. If you go to a service at church you might see the bread and wine and remember Jesus. When you are old enough you might eat it too, but for now you might receive a prayer of blessing. You are still sharing in the meal because you are there with everyone and taking part.

Time for reflection

Reflection:

This was a special meal,
so special that Christians believe that Jesus wants people to eat it still today,
to remember him.
Think quietly about the meal Jesus shared with his friends.
In silence, think of all the meals you share with your friends and family.
Do you have special food on special days such as Christmas or Easter?

 

Prayer:
(ask children to repeat each line)
Thank you, Jesus, for your love for us.
Help us to remember you every day.
And especially when we share food and drink together.
Amen.

Song/music

‘The Lord, the Lord’ (Come and Praise, 108)

Publication date: September 2005   (Vol.7 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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