Children and the Eucharist


You give us Jesus, the light of the world,
to gather up the hopes and fears of all the years,
and to make all your promises come true.

(This is a Brownie thing, for those who were wondering what it’s got to do with the church year – it’s towards the end of February, and might come up for a church parade service)
You give us opportunities to learn and share,
and grow in kindness and humanity,
united with our sisters [and brothers] across the world.

You made us to love and be loved,

to care for one another in good times and in bad,
and to live as your children on earth
until you welcome us home in heaven.

You give us saints to walk ahead of us
on the path of faith;
You give us courage and hope for difficult times,
and the sign of the cross to show that we are yours.

You send your Spirit to be our breath of life,
to fill our words and actions with your amazing love,
and to make us a blessing for all the world.

You are deeper and broader and higher than we can understand:
yet you welcome us to sit at your table
and to share the wonderful mystery of your love.


The Eucharistic Prayer ought to be a high point in any service of Holy Communion, but it’s not always that easy to engage with, especially if it looks, in the service sheet, like ‘lots of words on a page’.  If the children can be somewhere where they can see the altar, all is well, but if for whatever reason that’s not possible, then it might be worth investing in some pictures to help bring the words to life.  The set below includes images scavenged from various sources, and I don’t own the copyright (no infringement is intended), but you could source your own, or draw some, or take some photographs – or a combination.  Print out your pictures and laminate them, and give them to families who are sitting in the pews, so that they can look at the pictures and listen to the words together.
NB I find this works best if there isn’t a direct ‘one picture for one sentence’ rule – the choice of image in response to the words that are heard is part of the process of engaging with the prayer and reflecting on it.
Here is my set of pictures: AEP (the one without the questions) images for thankyou box

A teaching Eucharist is one in which the sermon is omitted, but a ‘running commentary’ is added at various points during the service. The idea is not so much to give many mini-sermons, ‘explaining’ what each bit of the service means, but rather to enable the congregation to engage more deeply with God through the liturgy.  The commentaries might be reflective (perhaps including silence), poetic, questioning, action-based etc, depending on your congregation.  They might also look at a particular strand of Eucharistic theology throughout, such as ‘The Body of Christ’ or ‘The Work of the Spirit’ – the choice of theme could be determined by the season.
Here is a worked example, prepared for a Pentecost all age Eucharist service: Buckden FC teaching communion script Pentecost
In the congregation’s service sheets all that was needed was a note of when in the service the commentaries were going to take place and any effect this would have on the usual pattern of standing and sitting.

2 responses to “Children and the Eucharist

  1. Pingback: words worth sharing

  2. Pingback: Short preface for AEP2 (Candlemas-flavoured) | words worth sharing

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