I’ve never attended a church for which Communion was a regularly-occurring thing. Or the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper. Whatever you call it, my experience with it confined within the walls of a church building has been sporadic at best.
Most of my memories of taking Communion are from right in my living room, with my parents leading the way and my brother and I grouped around the coffee table trying not to spill the grape juice on the rug.
I love Communion. “Do this in remembrance of Me.” So often I forget. I’m easily distracted from the things of Jesus. I lose my way and I’m prone to wander. Communion centers me. I remember.
It’s a time to pause, search within yourself, and recognize a Savior who asks nothing of us but to follow and remember.
One of my favorite times as a parent is taking Communion with my kids, and when a friend texted me today about how I do it, I thought, hey, maybe there are others who might want to do this with their kids.
The way we do Communion is really simple. It’s not Pinterest-worthy. You can see my dirty kitchen in the background. But in the midst of busy schedules and too much screen time, it’s how we remember.
I’ll lay out what we do, but there’s no magic in this. It’s just how we do it and if it’s helpful to you, then great. Here’s how to take communion with your kids:
1. They get to choose if they’re ready.
For each of my kids, I’ve waited till they’re old enough to know what’s going on and have chosen to publicly profess faith in Jesus. No forced communioning over here. (If you have littles who aren’t participating, put them to bed first so they don’t feel left out or peer-pressured into going through the motions just so they get a cracker and some juice.)
2. Have them get their Bibles.
At night after dinner, I set a table and invite them to get their Bibles and join us.
3. Set the mood.
I like to dim the lights and light candles to set a mood of reverence. This is really for helping my kids adjust their brains from Blah-Blah We Are Smart-Mouthed and Hyper to a mostly calm spirit of reflection.
4. Use a special plate…and Jell-o shot cups.
I use a pretty dish that I don’t normally use to also help bump up the specialness factor. Mommy’s got the silver out, must be important. Yes, those are Jell-o shot cups. We drink the “wine” out of Jell-o shot cups. (I’m really hoping this is my kids’ only life experience with these cups.)
5. Assemble the bread and the “wine.”
Here are the super special ingredients I buy ahead of time. I’ve used saltines or any cracker. Jesus’s body can also be gluten-free crackers as well. And I don’t think He cares if you use generic grape juice.
6. Take turns reading the Bible.
I have the kids take turns reading some passages of Scripture. And we mix it up which ones. If it’s Christmas Eve, I might throw in some verses from the birth of Christ, if it’s Good Friday, I’ll throw in some verses from the death and resurrection. The number of verses you use depends on the attention span of your kids.
Here are some I like:
- Isaiah 53
- John 19
- 1 Corinthians 11:28
- 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
- Ephesians 2:1-10
- Philippians 2:1-11
7. Privately examine your hearts.
We have a time of examination where we bow our heads and privately confess our sins to God. At the end of this, either my husband Alex or I close the prayer, thanking God for forgiving us for our sins. I like Psalm 139:23-24 for this part.
8. Take the bread and “wine.”
We pass out the bread, and I read 1 Corinthians 11:23-24. We eat the bread. Then we pass out the grape juice, and I read 1 Corinthians 11:25-26. Then we drink the juice.
9. Sing a song.
At the end, I have the kids pick a song that they like from church and we sing it together, because in Matthew 26:30, it says the apostles sang a hymn after they took that first Communion with Jesus.
That’s it. Not a lot of prep. We are not awesome at being super spiritual all the time around here. But several times a year, this is a way that we remember what Jesus did for us.