First Holy Communion Class begins this month
By Pastor David Tinker
The First Holy Communion Class will be held over three Sundays in late March and early April. Each class will be held in the Mission & Ministry Building (New Building behind Parsonage). See the photo above which shows the 2016 class group with the bread they baked for their First Communion.
Class Dates: March 26, April 2 and 9 – after worship – starting about 11:00 a.m.
First Holy Communion at MLLC is most often offered to students in 5th grade. There are numerous cases in which there are exceptions to this. If you and your student, who is not yet in 5th grade, wish to participate in this class please speak with me to make arrangements. The 5th grade tradition does not prevent younger students from attending the class and receiving Holy Communion.
Students are encouraged to bring a Bible for use in class, as well as paper/pen for any notes they might want to write. If students don’t have access to a Bible we have one for their use. Note that each student will be presented with a Bible on First Communion Thursday – April 13 – for his or her personal study and for use in Sunday School, Confirmation and Worship. Parents/Grandparents are welcome and encouraged to be present at this class time. We will meet at a table in the Mission and Ministry Building, but will also move to other places in the church facilities for parts of the lessons.
The class will include instruction, discussion, videos, mini-field trips in the building, etc.
We are working to avoid Spring Break weekends for this class, therefore all sessions are after Spring Break. Please consult with me if you have special needs about family schedules, vacations, parental custody issues, etc. which could conflict with the posted schedule. I want this opportunity to work for your student.
Notes that one of the Sunday classes will include bread baking by the students. This bread will be used at their First Communion service.
We will Celebrate our First Holy Communion on:
Thursday, April 13 7:30 p.m.
Maundy Thursday Service, First Holy Communion Day
Presentation of Bible to students during worship – the Church gives to Parent/Grandparent, and then the parent/grandparent presents Bible to student. We will go over this before Thursday so all are ready.
Students please arrive by 7:00 p.m. to make sure all our plans are in order for what we will be doing at worship. Also, families may wish to take photos before worship, and this is the best time to do this. The altar area will be bare of all decorations, candles, banners, etc. after worship due to the “Stripping of the Altar”.
I look forward to exploring this wonderful sacrament with your child. This is a very exciting time of growth for these young people and for their families. If you have any questions or needs please feel free to contact me. Please see the article below about discerning your child’s interest and readiness to receive the sacrament.
How do I know my child is ready to attend First Communion Class?
He or She may. . .
*have expressed interest in participating in Holy Communion during worship, perhaps copying your movements at the altar
*have begun to ask questions about why we take Holy Communion
*have begun to reach for the Holy Communion elements which are offered to you
*have a foundation in Christ through attendance in Christian education or worship, or through family conversations, devotions or prayer
*be able to speak about God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as loving and trustworthy
*pray the Lord’s Prayer and be able to say other simple prayers (such as at bedtime and meals)
The following questions can help you determine the readiness of your child to receive her or his first Holy Communion.
The most important question is about God’s gift of Grace for your child:
***** Has your child been baptized?
If your child is not yet baptized, please speak with a pastor to set a date for your child to receive this Sacrament. It is understood that Holy Communion is for the baptized children of God.
Other questions to consider:
*Is your child comfortable in various locations around the church, like the altar?
*Does your child have a basic, age-appropriate awareness that God loves him or her?
*Does your child understand the idea of “right” and “wrong”, and can grasp the basic notion of “forgiveness”?
*Will your child extend his or her hands when asked to do so?
*Will your child be able to understand the basic concept that Holy Communion is a gift from God to each person?
*Does your child seem to have a basic trust that they are a child of God?
*Does your child seem interested in what goes on in church during Communion?
*Does your child interact enough with others to receive the bread and wine?
*Is your child aware enough of others in the congregation and their needs to show respect for the communion experience?
*Are you prepared to help make the process positive?
*Are you prepared to continue to fulfill the promises you made at your child’s baptism to bring him or her regularly to the Lord’s Table?
Only the first question (Has your child been baptized?) requires a “Yes” before your child can be considered ready to receive his or her first communion. Use the others to generate discussion and to plan, in consultation with Pastor David Tinker, for your child’s preparation to begin receiving the sacrament and the gifts it brings.
Contact Pastor David Tinker if you have any questions about Holy Communion. He would be happy to help answer your questions.