Growing Up Catholic
Session Four: At Home This Week
The Eucharistic Prayer
In this session, we focused on the Eucharistic prayer and how we give thanks and remember Jesus' story during Mass.
Start with a review with your child. Look through the session book, asking what they remember and what they might have questions about.
This week at Mass, help your child recognize what is happening during the Eucharistic Prayer.
Did you know? There are four main versions of the Eucharistic Prayer that are usually used at Mass.
The "At Home" handout this week has a special mealtime prayer for you to use to especially give thanks. This is also a great time to explore other ways to pray, whether around the table, at bedtime, or at other times.
Before starting a mealtime routine, think about what you're trying to accomplish. You don't want mealtime prayers to be like pulling teeth. We want to remind our children (and ourselves) that we're thankful for God and what God has given us!
Prayers don’t have to be:
Big words that are hard to pronounce or understand
Make it fun!
Ways to make mealtime prayers more engaging:
Keep them short!
Make up motions to go with them
Use rhyming blessings
Hold hands around the table
End them with a hearty “AMEN!”
The Can’t-Fail-Thankful Prayer
While holding hands, each person says one thing they are thankful for from that day. When one person is done, they squeeze the hand of the next person to signal that it is his/her turn. You’ll be amazed that after practicing this for just a few days your kids will find it easier and easier to think of things they are thankful for.
There are many rhyming mealtime prayers you can find online. For example:
Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything.
Bless us O Lord...
You can always use this standard that you may have learned as a child:
Bless us O Lord and these thy gifts
Which we are about to receive through thy bounty
Through Christ our Lord. Amen
Planning the First Communion Party!
It’s time to start planning the party! Why not plan a special meal to celebrate your child’s First Communion? Make your child the guest of honor, but involve him or her in the planning process. What you will need to plan might include:
Inviting guests to the First Communion Mass as well as the party is a welcoming way of inviting non-Catholics and non-practicing Catholics to be a part of this special day.
Ask your child to help develop the guest list. This is a great time to involve and/or reconnect with your child's godparents if they live locally.
Rummage around to find your child's baptismal candle and pictures from that day. Light the candle and put the photos out for everyone to look at.
You may want to lead a simple prayer before the meal.
Gifts – this is a good time to give your child a children's prayer book or a children's Bible. Here are some suggestions.
The table setting – include candles, your good dishes, and maybe a little wine or juice to celebrate with.