Holy Communion

On this page is a collection of items that I’ve produced to enrich and resources Holy Communion – mostly for children, but not all.
You are welcome to download and use anything here.
(NB some of the photograph illustrations were originally downloaded and I’ve not been able to trace the copyright holders – no infringement is intended)

Teaching Eucharist
The idea is that instead of a sermon, we have a reflective running commentary throughout the service, helping people engage with the liturgy and hopefully therefore deepening their experience of Holy Communion. It’s the kind of thing you can do ostensibly ‘for the kids’, knowing the adults also get lots out of it – churches up and down the country are full of people who’ve never been given the chance to reflect on the liturgy they’re part of, and many of them really appreciate it when they are given the chance.
Here’s a script that I have used – I tend to vary the script according to the occasion, so this one was Pentecost-flavoured.  It would be perfectly possible to redraft the script for other occasions.
Buckden Family Communion – Teaching service
Buckden FC teaching communion script Pentecost

Visual images for the Eucharistic Prayers

I once did a survey of young people to find out which bits of the Communion service they found it hardest to engage with.  The results?  Sermon, Intercessions, Eucharistic Prayer. I suspect many adults would say the same.
Here are some pictures that we printed out and laminated for use with our ‘thank you box’ during the Eucharistic Prayer – ideally I’d like more, so that it’s less of a one-to-one match (ie there’s one right picture for each line of the prayer) and more imaginative.  But it’s a start.
AEP (the one with the questions) images for thankyou box

Here’s the handout from a talk I did on ways of enriching Children’s experience of Holy Communion – everything from liturgy boxes to prayer boards, colouring books and more.
Enriching Children’s Experience of Eucharistic Worship

Preparing children to receive communion before confirmation

At Westcott House, the children have their own session, ‘Little Saints’ during the weekly Community Eucharist, and once or twice a term, we all come together for an all age celebration.  A number of the House children arrive having come from churches that don’t admit children to communion, while some have been receiving for a while, and their ordinand parents were all attached to different parish churhes and chapels with different policies on this. In response, and with the blessing of our Diocesan Bishop, we offered the opportunity for admission to Communion through Westcott. This is what we did:

Westcott Preparing for Holy Communion 1
Westcott Preparing for Holy Communion 2
Westcott Preparing for Holy Communion 3
Westcott Preparing for Holy Communion 4
Westcott Preparing for Holy Communion 5
Westcott Preparing for Holy Communion 6

What these resources don’t tell you is that we began each session by creating together a large drawing to help us think through the theme for the day. What we found is that with a wide age range of children, drawing first and then talking together about what we had drawn was a great way of opening up the conversation and getting an insight into what other people were thinking.  It was also great fun!  For the last session (the handout for which is rather minimal) we used our drawing throughout. We drew the outline of a church, and inside it we drew pictures to remind us of all the things we’d been talking about in the Eucharist, then we asked ourselves, ‘How do these escape from the church and become a blessing to the world?’  This was a really rich session, with huge depth of wisdom and sacramental understanding and creativity from the children, including the insight, ‘The prayers escape from the church because we carry other people’s needs around with us in our own blood.’ (That was from a five year old, and it was able to be articulated because we’d used the drawing as a way in – this child had drawn the intercessions where the altar would normally be, and was clearly connecting prayer and the Eucharist and mission in a quite sophisticated way.)

NB the formatting may not travel well, so if you find there are text boxes overlapping or out of place, you’ll have to sort them out!  I was going to use publisher, but not everyone has that or is used to using it. Have fun!

In my parish church the children were usually in Junior Church during service on three Sundays a month, with the fourth Sunday being an all age Eucharist. So, to prepare for their first communion they’re coming out of Junior Church for two Sundays a month and having their own special session during the first part of the service, then joining the main service for the Peace onwards. Here are this year’s handouts: Preparing for Holy Communion 2014
We’ve also supplemented this with some of the worksheets from John Muir and Betty Pedley’s very excellent ‘Come and join the celebration

Holy Communion Colouring Book
Download it as a .pdf document here: Holy Communion colouring book
Put together for younger children, this booklet follows the usual order for Holy Communion, with line drawings to colour in and captions.  In our church we use the same pictures to illustrate our main order of service.
Print this out 2 pages per sheet, in the order 12,1,2,11,10,3,4,9,8,5,6,7 then copy it back to back to make a booklet.  Or your printer may have a clever printer that will do booklets for you!

What is Holy Communion?
We are a broad church, and we wanted a leaflet that celebrated all the most commonly used names for what we do when we share the bread and wine.
Here it is!  What is Holy Communion (trifold)

Eucharistic texts to Kum ba yah (accessible to children and families)

Congregational Setting for the Eucharist
I wrote this ages ago and only just remembered that I’d never posted it anywhere.  The organ part isn’t really basic enough for a lot of parishes, but folk liked singing it at my theological college, and who knows, there might still be people out there looking for a new setting who would like this one. It’s all pdf files, each bit separately, and with versions that are just the melody line (marked ‘congregation’) and versions that are in full score.

A New Westcott Mass – Kyrie (congregation)
A New Westcott Mass – Kyrie (score)

A New Westcott Mass – Gloria (congregation)
A New Westcott Mass – GLORIA (score)

A New Westcott Mass – Acclamations (congregatio)
A New Westcott Mass – Acclamations (score)

A New Westcott Mass – Sanctus and Benedictus (congregation)
A New Westcott Mass – SANCTUS AND BENEDICTUS (score)

A New Westcott Mass – AGNUS DEI II (score)
A New Westcott Mass – Agnus Dei I (congregation)
A New Westcott Mass – Agnus Dei II (congregation)
A New Westcott Mass – AGNUS DEI I (score)

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