During the communion service, Christians remember Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross by eating bread, representing his body, and drinking wine, representing his blood. Jesus encouraged his disciples to have communion regularly to remember how his sacrifice brought salvation to the world. It's important that children understand the meaning of this significant sacrament, so this is an essential topic to include in your Sunday school curriculum. Teach kids about the origins of communion as well as the way your church administers it to the congregation.
Ask the children, "What does the word 'remember' mean?" Let the children respond, and then tell them that remembering is thinking about something you already knew or experienced. Ask the children to close their eyes and remember a special meal they ate. Select one or two children to share their memories.
Introduce the idea of communion. Tell children that Jesus asked us to remember a special meal he shared with his disciples, called the Last Supper. Read the story of the Last Supper from a children's Bible. If desired, re-enact the Last Supper by placing blankets and pillows on the floor where children can sit. Pretend to pass around bread and wine just as Jesus did.
Review the story with the kids. Ask them to remember what Jesus served to his disciples. Write the answers (bread and wine) on the board where children can see them. Ask children to remember what Jesus said the bread and wine represented (his body and blood), and write those words on the board, too.
Tell the children that Jesus asked us to eat bread and drink wine to remember that his body suffered and his blood was shed so our sins could be forgiven. We do this during our communion service. Communion is sometimes called the Lord's Supper.
Introduce your guest speakers: one person or several people who prepare the bread and wine for the communion service at your church. Let them show children the communion trays or other articles used during communion. If possible, let the guest speakers show the children where the objects are stored and how they are prepared for use.
Explain that the communion service is very special, and everyone must show respect while it's in progress. Talk about respectful behaviour, and let children verbally give ideas for what they can do during the communion service. List their ideas on the board. Examples include praying, reading the Last Supper story in the Bible and singing praises if music is played.
Let each child write a question about communion on a piece of paper. Put the questions in a cup and let the guest speakers answer them. Questions can include "When did you take communion for the first time?" "What does communion mean to you?" and "Do you have a special story about communion?" These questions should help children understand that communion is a personal act that involves the soul rather than a ritual of habit.
During the question-and-answer session in Step 7, explain to children whether or not they can participate in communion. Some churches allow children to take communion while others do not.