The First Holy Communion normally occurs when children are 7 or 8 years old and is an initiation rite that introduces them as full members of the Catholic Church. During the ritual of the sacrament, children consume bread and wine to pay respect for the death of Jesus Christ. Holy Communion is also known as the Eucharist and is the remembrance of Christ's Last Supper. Children can learn about Jesus's sacrifice by engaging in a range of age-appropriate activities.
Children can make rosaries from string and beads and can construct crucifixes from craft wood or other materials. Show them how to make their own prayer cards and give them some verses to copy onto them. Little girls may enjoy dressing dolls in a white communion dress and acting out the communion process. Encourage your child to make posters to illustrate Holy Communion activities and help them understand what the process represents.
Most children enjoy coloring and you can find many downloadable coloring pages on the web that have images related to Holy Communion. Your local church may also have its own coloring books. With coloring pages and a pack of crayons your children can enjoy themselves at the same time as they are becoming familiar with the themes and images of the Holy Communion.
Word search puzzles, word scrambles and crossword puzzles are all ways for children to learn about Holy Communion while they are having fun. You can find puzzles online. For younger children, word search puzzles will contain words like "cross," "altar," "pray," "bread" and "wine." Older children need to search for longer words like "sacrament," "benediction" and "consecration." Puzzles activities should be fun and educational at the same time.
Family activities can help a child learn about and prepare for Holy Communion. Set aside time in the evening to read aloud from a children’s Bible and let family members take turns reading a story each night. Fill a bowl with water and use it for family members to bless themselves before each meal. Talk to your child about your memories of your own baptism and communion, and how it has been a positive part of your life.