A Powerful Moment in Catechesis
March 1, 2017
By Betsy Brown, Catechesis Coordinator
Yesterday I was more excited than usual to come to church. My Level Three kids in Catechesis (grades four-sixth) and I were having a Communion Service! Rev. Andy Rogers was coming to serve Communion. We had spent a lot of time talking about the service and going through the Order of Worship, trying to understand the different parts. I had even asked the children to prepare their hearts during the week for this service.
So I came in early to set things up in the room. I had several rows of chairs facing a small table that would be our altar. The altar table looked beautiful with the hand-made pottery chalice and paten, candles, a Bible, and even a plant. The room was dimly lit with only a couple of lamps turned on in the room so that there would be a contemplative feel. I thought it looked good.
The children started coming in and looking at how the room was arranged and began asking all sorts of questions. They were excited too. Then Rev. Andy came in and sat down to talk to the children. Even though we had covered a lot of background material in previous Sundays, Andy started giving them a great overview of where the service comes from (“What happened when the Angel of Death went over the houses of the Hebrew people in Egypt?” “It PASSED OVER their houses and did not kill any of the Hebrew children.”) So we talked about the Passover feast celebrated by the Jews every year. Then he talked about Jesus’ last meal with his disciples and the new words that he used at that meal. It was a new covenant with his people.
When we were ready to start the service, Andy asked if we could move the chairs to form a circle and put the altar table in the middle. Just that one change made such a difference! All of a sudden we were all in the front row with a wonderful view of the elements. We went through the service, stopping occasionally to explain something. When it came time to serve the elements, Andy asked if we would serve each other. So one by one, each of us served the person next to us. What a powerful moment! Each child was so respectful of this glorious moment when we take Jesus into our bodies to be with us forever! They served the person next to them with great dignity. I have never had such an uplifting and personal experience as I had in serving my neighbor. As we ended the service, these were the words that we prayed:
Grant that we may go into the world
in the strength of your Spirit,
to give ourselves for others,
in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
That is our great commission – to go out into the world to give ourselves to others when we are filled with the Holy Spirit!
And then we all said Amen! (Did you know that “Amen” means “let it be just as you have said”?)
In that one hour, the children experienced something so powerful and wonderful! No amount of teaching could take the place of the experience of being served Communion and serving someone else Communion. We should all want to partake of this Sacrament as often as we can so that we can be reminded that the Spirit is living in us and that we need to go out and do the work God has called us to do – to love each other as He has loved us!
Betsy Brown, Catechesis Coordinator