Household Faith | First Communion Preparation - Lesson One

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About the Household Faith Series

Calvary’s Household Faith Series is a collection of lessons on a series of important faith formation topics designed for parents to lead their children through as they teach them the faith. God has given every parent the gift of being the greatest influence on the faith life of their children. The church’s role is to partner with them as they pass on the faith to their children. This Series is an attempt to do that by equipping parents with the necessary resources and lessons.


The Household Faith Series includes:

  • First Communion Preparation

  • Reading the Bible

  • Learning the Liturgy

  • Remembering Baptism

  • Learning to Pray

About First Communion Preparation

First Communion preparation consists of five lessons following the questions and answers Martin Luther puts forth in his Small Catechism.


These lessons seek to help children and students learn what Holy Communion is, what its benefits are, how Holy Communion can do what it does, and who is worthy to receive Holy Communion. It also aims to teach them about various aspects surrounding Holy Communion, like the other names it is called and what other Christian traditions teach about Holy Communion.


Each lesson makes use of readings from the Bible and Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, videos, important vocabulary words to know, and questions to reinforce and solidify learning.


In the end, we hope these lessons will help parents prepare their children and determine if they are ready to receive their first communion.

Lesson One: What is Holy Communion?

Review the following before you begin Things you’ll need for this lesson:

  • Bibles for those going through the lesson

  • A copy of Luther’s Small Catechism. If you don’t have or can’t find a physical copy, you can download the Small Catechism app in your smart device’s app store or go to https://catechism.cph.org/ to view it online.

  • An electronic device that can play YouTube videos. We’ll be using videos from BibleProject www.youtube.com/c/bibleproject/

  • A pen or pencil for recording your student’s answers at the end of the lesson

LEARNER GOAL: At the end of this lesson, students should know the basics of what Holy Communion is, by what other names it is called, its biblical and historical background, and who instituted it.

Introduction

PARENTS SAY: Holy Communion is an important part of the life of a Christian and an important part of the church as a whole. It’s one of the three means of grace God uses to create and strengthen our faith, forgive our sins, and give us eternal life: the other two being Holy Baptism, and God’s Word—the Bible.


Our worship service focuses on these means of grace. You can think of going through the worship service like climbing two mountains side by side. The first part of the worship service, or the first mountain, focuses on God’s spoken word. We use God’s words to pray to him and in our hymns and songs as we praise him. The peak of this first mountain is the Gospel reading. There we hear of what Jesus did for us. Then, we hear the pastor’s sermon tell us about it again in a different way.


The second part of the service, the second mountain, focuses on God’s tangible word. When something is tangible it means we can know it by touch. Holy Communion is God’s word of promise that we can touch with our hands, taste with our mouths, and even smell with our noses. The peak of this second mountain is Holy Communion. That’s the part of the service where we receive Jesus’ body and blood under bread and wine. And, that’s what these lessons will help you learn about; what Holy Communion is, what we receive when we take it, and why it’s so important.


Small Catechism Reading

Open your copy of Luther’s Small Catechism (or go to https://catechism.cph.org/) and turn to the sixth chief part entitled, “The Sacrament of the Altar” and read the first main question, “What is the Sacrament of the Altar?” and Luther’s answer. Then read its follow-up question, “Where is this written?” and Luther’s answer. NOTE: Sacrament of the Altar is another name for Holy Communion; we’ll learn more about that later.


Review the vocabulary word below, then ask the following questions:

VOCABULARY: Institute, to start something that continues; (for example a holiday tradition)
  • What does Luther (the writer of the Small Catechism) say Holy Communion is?

  • A: The true body and blood of Jesus Christ under bread and wine

  • Who instituted it?

  • A: Jesus Christ

  • Who was it instituted for?

  • A: For us

  • Look again at the answer Luther gives to “Where is this written?” Do we hear these words anywhere else during the week?

  • A: During the worship service at church; they are the Words of Institution, the words the pastor speaks over the bread and wine.

BibleProject Video

Watch The Crucifixion of Christ: Luke 19-23 (Luke/Acts Series) video from the BibleProject below or on their Youtube page (https://youtu.be/_unHmAf7INk). This video will cover the last week of Jesus’ life—what we call Holy Week—up to his death on the cross.

Discuss what you saw in the video. If you need to, you can use some of the following questions:

  • What events in Jesus’ life are shown in the video?

  • During what week-long Jewish celebration did Jesus eat his last meal with his disciples? (Passover)

  • What was something new that you learned?

  • Parents, feel free to share something you learned

  • Was there anything in the video that was weird, confusing, or that you didn’t understand?

  • Parents, don’t hesitate to share something that was weird or confusing to you or that you didn’t understand.

  • Also, feel free to write down these questions and try to find the answers throughout the week.

Bible Reading - Luke 22:7-23

Grab your Bibles and turn to Luke 22:7-23. Read it aloud, either you, your child, or take turns; then, discuss what you read. Use some of the following questions:

  • Who were the two disciples that Jesus sent ahead to prepare the Passover?

  • Where in the house did Jesus and the disciples eat the Passover meal?

  • What food and drink from the dinner did Jesus use to institute Holy Communion?

  • What does Jesus say the bread and wine are?

  • What do you think Jesus meant when he said, “Do this in remembrance of me?”

BibleProject Video

Watch The Book of Exodus - Part One (Torah Series) video on the BibleProject YouTube page (https://youtu.be/0uf-PgW7rqE). This video covers the early life of Moses and God’s great rescue of the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt through the 10 plagues and the parting of the Red Sea.

Discuss what you saw in the video. If you need to you can use some of the following questions.

  • How does God rescue the Israelites?

  • Which plague changed Pharoah’s mind?

  • How does God spare his people from the 10th plague?

  • What was something new that you learned?

  • Again, feel free to share something you learned

  • Was there anything in the video that was weird, confusing, or that you didn’t understand?

  • Again, don’t hesitate to share something that was weird or confusing to you or that you didn’t understand.

  • Also, feel free to write down these questions too and try to find the answers throughout the week.

Bible Reading - Exodus 12:1-28

Grab your Bibles again. This time turn to Exodus 12:1-18. Read it aloud, either you, your child, or you can take turns; discuss what you read. Use some of the following questions:

  • What did God ask the Israelites to do?

  • See verses 3-13

  • How were they to eat this meal?

  • See verse 11

  • What did God call this meal and why?

  • See verses 11-13

  • Was this a one-time celebration?

  • See verse 14

  • What do verses 26 & 27 say about this meal?

Other names for Holy Communion

PARENTS SAY: Holy Communion is also known by other names. We call it Holy Communion because it is a special meal we eat “together-with” other Christians.


Review the vocabulary word below and the following names for Holy Communion:

VOCABULARY: Holy, Set apart for special use; (for example, a fancy outfit for a wedding)

Sacrament of the Altar | see 1 Cor 10:16

  • SAY: We sometimes refer to Holy Communion as the Sacrament of the Altar. We use the term sacrament because a sacrament is a promise from God connected to a natural, physical element that Jesus instituted, which Holy Communion is. We also refer to sacraments as means of grace. We use the term altar because an altar is a table set aside for sacrifices and we gather around an altar to partake of the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Eucharist (pronounced YOO-ka-rist) | see Matt 26:26, where Jesus gives thanks

  • SAY: Eucharist comes from the Greek word for “give thanks” or “thanksgiving.” We can receive Holy Communion with thankful hearts because, with the body and blood of Jesus under bread and wine, we also receive forgiveness, life, and salvation.

Some other names the Bible uses to refer to Holy Communion

  • The Lord’s Supper (see 1 Cor 11:20); the Lord’s Table (see 1 Cor 11:21); the Breaking of Bread (see Acts 2:42)

Some questions to see what you learned

Review the following questions with your child to see what they learned and reinforce the information; grab a pen or pencil to record their answers

  1. What do we receive in Holy Communion and who instituted it?

  2. During what week-long Jewish celebration, did Jesus eat his last meal with his disciples, and what did that celebration celebrate?

  3. What do the words “institute” and “holy” mean?

  4. What do we call the words the pastor speaks over bread and wine?

  5. Do we only need to receive Holy Communion once like baptism?

Closing Prayer

Close your time of study with the following prayer:


Heavenly Father, we give you thanks with our whole hearts because you have shown us your grace and mercy by redeeming us with Jesus’ body and blood, under the bread and wine of Holy Communion. Amen.