Monday, August 6, 2012

Do I Really Have to Eat the Body of Christ?

First Eucharist Gifts

This walnut wall cross has a medal relief of a chalice cut-out. Makes a great First Communion gift.

I had a day this year when we almost had to run out of Mass. I whispered to my youngest son, who was having an extraordinarily good Mass day, "Just think Ant, soon the whole family will be able to go up for Communion and share the Body of Christ." The look of absolute horror on his face...hmm, maybe I need to prepare him a little better. When I first began teaching elementary Religious Ed, I had grade K. I was loving it, until I had to tell them about Communion. The comments were strange and difficult to do you make a 5 year old understand Transubstantiation when adults can't really explain it. "It's a divine mystery" doesn't get you very far when you are talking to 5 year old about potentially eating anything unfamiliar, let alone a PERSON...I can't even get mine to eat peas! So I began instruction on my own earlier, at the beginning of the year. If I could get it in before it was "the lesson," I might have a chance.
We began with talking about families, and how we share with our families at meals, especially the dinner table. Eventually, I was able to make them see the connection between the altar at church and the family table. Also, one of our first lessons was always about Adam and Eve and the gates of Heaven being closed. Sin is a tremendous part of Eucharist, as is the redemption of the cross. I think we don't tell our children, or even our big people enough about sin or frequent use the sacrament of Reconciliation. Eventually, I could share with them that Jesus died on the cross, he gave his body as a gift to us all to re-open the gates of Heaven. We celebrate that each week, at least, in the sacrament of Eucharist, and celebrate the gift of Jesus every week when we are old enough, through the sacrament. When they make the connection, and kids always do...I tell them it's a miracle that only a priest can perform, each week, through his Holy Office...and I tell them the name, "transubstantiation." It's a big word, but I don't expect them to spell it :o) I want them to have pride in their Catholicism. Yes, all Christians can know Jesus, but only Catholics can receive him in the Holy Mass...yeah, Us!! Catholics are very blessed!

A valuable aid for helping children prepare for First Holy Communion.

Aquinas carries many educational books for children to help prepare them for their sacraments...this book on the 10 Commandments has a mini examination of conscience.

This year, our family was indeed blessed to have 2 elementary children receive First Holy Communion, as well as 4 older children come into the church at Easter during the vigil. We had to give much thought to Communion Gifts. My husband and I believe in giving traditional gifts for Sacraments and at other holidays. This was no exception. We bought several rosaries as well as prayer books. Aquinas and More has many such gifts, including First Communion bibles, for both girls and boys. They can even be engraved with the child's name.

A beautiful vinyl over paper flexible cover gift edition specially designed for a girl's First Holy Communion. Pages are edged in pink.


They also have a huge selection of rosaries, like this...

This black glass-bead rosary has a pewter crucifix and chalice/host center. The rosary is 17in. long and comes in a round plastic rosary box with a picture of Christ giving Holy Communion to a young boy.

The card comes with a 5/8in. pewter medal on an 18in. chain which has a chalice and host and the words "Body of Christ, Amen" on the front. On the back are the words "My First Holy Communion."This card depicts Christ giving Communion to a young boy. On the back of the card is the following prayer:

My Lord Jesus Christ, I firmly believe that I am about to receive, in Communion, Your Body, Your Blood, Your Soul, and Your Divinity.

I believe it because You have said it, and I am ready to give my life to maintain this truth

Thinking outside the box is always a good idea, especially if you are buying for a friend who may have received these special gifts from family members. Medals, such as this St. Anne's medal are always appropriate, especially if you use the child's name as a guide.

This beautiful laminated hold card shows St. Anne with the Child Mary at her knee. On the back is the following prayer:

Glorious St. Anne, filled with compassion for those who invoke thee, and with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I cast myself at thy feet and humbly beg of thee to take the present affair which I recommend to thee under thy special protection.

Vouchsafe to recommend it to thy Daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus, so that He may bring it to a happy issue. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace of one day beholding my God face to face, and with thee and Mary and all the Saints, praising and blessing Him for all eternity.

Good St. Anne, mother of Her who is our Life, our Sweetness and our Hope, pray to her for us, and obtain our request. Amen

Aquinas and More also has fine jewelry, such as this Rosary bracelet and wow, I love this jasper stone First Communion Rosary!

Present this gorgeous and unique rosary to a first communicant as a keepsake of their first Eucharist and a motivation to constantly pray

This 5-decade First Communion rosary has white pearl beads and a Celtic crucifix. Beads measure approximately 4mm. Overall rosary length is 17in.

In case you are still having to catch up on some items for First Communion prep (not that I would know anything about that!!) look at these banners!! Aquinas and More even has banner class kits and information about Communion prep to make it as easy as possible!!

Isn't that banner beautiful?

And if you waited until the last minute and don't know what to get, I hear from my kids, a ball is always appropriate, so just punt...I mean kick! How about this St. Christopher soccer medal!

This hand engraved New England pewter 1in. X 5/8in. oval St. Christopher Medal, inscribed with the words, "Protect us", depicts a soccer player and comes with a 24in. stainless chain.

While Aquinas and More can help with all your gift giving needs, your prayers and support are all that is necessary for your special little ones inition into the church! Congratulations!