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Special Times Additional Lesson- "Communion" Lesson Plan for “Special Times” curriculum Available for free from http://www.uure.com/ Developed by Kate Tweedie Erslev, author of “Chalice Children” and “Traditions with a Wink!” Sept. 2001 Questions? or for more information contact: Kate Erslev at Kate_Erslev@Webaccess.net 970-221-2901 705 Birky Place, Fort Collins, CO 80526 The “Special Times” curriculum for early elementary aged UU children was written by Betty Jo Middleton. This and other shareware lesson plans were developed by Kate T. Erslev as supplemental lessons or to stand on their own. Other lesson plans available as free shareware include “Baptism, “ and “St. Patrick’s Day.” Theme: Communion is an important part of the Christian religion. UU's celebrate "Flower Communion". We value communion as sharing. Our chalice resembles the Communion Chalice. Goal: The children will explore sharing as a religious experience. Objective: The children will use their sense of taste as they share the wafers, bread, and juice. They will use a chalice as a communion chalice. Background for Teachers: Communion, in Christian churches, is the sacrament (holy ceremony) of the Lord's Supper. The Gospels and I Corinthians report that at the Last Supper, Jesus told His disciples to eat, for this was His body, and to drink, for this was His blood. Most Protestants call the sacrament the "Lord's Supper". Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and members of the Eastern Orthodox churches call the ceremony the "Eucharist" or "Holy Communion". Some Protestant churches observe the ritual monthly or weekly. Others observe it four times a year. Roman Catholics must receive Communion during Easter season, and often they receive weekly or daily Communion. Some churches use individual wafers of unleavened bread and, especially among Protestants, individual glasses of wine. The modern liturgical movement has proposed celebrating the sacrament more frequently. It also proposes using a shared loaf of bread and a common cup of wine. “Mass” is the name used by several Christian churches for the celebration of the sacrament of the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper In this important ritual, the worshiping community gathers to give thanks and praise to God and to participate in the ongoing mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Mass” has two major parts. The first part is a service that includes readings from Scripture and a sermon. The second part is a Eucharistic rite of prayer focusing on a remembrance of the Last Supper. The Eucharist was instituted by Jesus, who shared bread and wine with His disciples at the Last Supper. Most Christians believe that Jesus intended His words and actions during the last Supper to be continued in a sacramental ritual. Kings Chapel is a UU congregation that still takes communion. About 20% of our denomination identifies themselves as UU Christians. Many UU congregations celebrate the "Flower Communion". It was developed by Czech Unitarian minister Norbert Capek. He felt the need for some symbolic ritual which would bind the people closer together, and it had to be of such form that the former Roman Catholics, former Protestants and former liberal Jews that made up his congregation would all participate. At the first Flower Communion Service on June 4, 1923, the people were told that everyone should bring a flower of his or her choice- from garden or field - or even a twig. At the conclusion of the service, each member slowly one by one walked up to the table and took a flower other than that which each had brought. This was to symbolize firstly that they accepted one another and secondly that not only did they give, but also they received from the treasury of grace. It was only by giving that this treasury became possible, that the empty vase became filled with beauty for the enjoyment by all and that each received from it. Dr. Capek died in Dachau concentration camp on Oct. 30, 1942. (From "The Flower Communion" by R. Zottoli, UUA, Boston, MA) Preparation: 1. Order unconsecrated, unleavened communion wafers. Often these may be obtained from a liberal Christian church, or try a Christian supply house on the Web. 2. Ask if your congregation has old communion cups from previous years. 3. Buy grape juice and a loaf of shepherds bread. 4. Find a large chalice or goblet to hold juice. 5. Locate a picture of the Last Supper, optional. 6. Have paper and markers for entering activity 7. Find some sort of timer, such as an egg timer for entering activity. 8. Butter and jam for bread at snack. 9. Music tape, boom box, chairs for Musical chairs Entering Activity: Make sharing pictures. Each child gets a piece of paper and some markers. Each draws a squiggly design and starts to fill in the spaces. Set a timer, such as an egg timer, for a one or two minutes. Have everyone pass the paper to the next person, and add something. Repeat until everyone has put something on each paper. Encourage the children to consider how each person adds something different to make a whole design. Gathering: Create a Communion Rail Have the children turn a couch around or set up a row of chairs to create a "Communion Rail". Have them kneel on the couch and be ready to "take communion". Ask them to fold their hands in a praying attitude. Tell the story of the Last Supper. When Jesus went to the city of Jerusalem, he called his 12 disciples, (students), together for a meal. (Show the picture of the Last Supper, optional). At the meal he told them to eat the bread, it was like his body, and drink the wine, it was like his blood. He knew he would soon be killed. He said "Do this in remembrance of me." He hoped that they would remember his teachings after he was dead. Christian people remember this sad sharing with "Communion" which means sharing. Jesus was sharing his spirit and his very body with his disciples. Recreate a bread communion Take out the shepherds loaf of bread. Pull off a small piece, and feed it to the person next to you. They should eat it without touching it with their hands. Say "I will share my spirit and this bread with you." Ask them to feed the next person and say the same thing. Go around the circle until everyone has been fed. Show the old communion cups Bring out any communion cups you have obtained, and pour a little juice in each one. Ask each child to take a cup, close their eyes and imagine they are drinking wine with Jesus, or a favorite teacher. What questions would you ask Him? How would you feel if you knew that teacher was going to die soon? (You might want to share stories and memories with the teacher. That's what Jesus' disciples did) Take a sharing break Try some new games which demonstrate cooperation and sharing such as knots, lap sit, pulling up with elbows linked. Encourage the children to notice how sharing solutions and discussion makes the game easier. Use the word sharing in your verbal directions. End with new games musical chairs, in which each time a chair is taken away, people have to share a chair. Let them try to fit everyone on one chair at the end! Wouldn't everyone have a better life if we all found a way to help each other and share? Use the chalice as a communion cup Have the children return to the communion rail, and tell them that some Christian churches celebrate communion with a chalice and wafers. Show them the chalice cup. It is our chalice, but it is also used in some communions in other churches and is called a communion chalice. The priest brings the cup filled with wine to each person. They all used to drink out of it, but that shared too many germs. Instead they do this: Pour the juice into the chalice. Dip a wafer into the juice and place on a child's tongue. Say "Do this in remembrance of Jesus Christ". If you feel comfortable, teach the children to cross themselves and say "I will share with you, Jesus." Repeat for each child. Let them look closely at the wafer and notice the crosses on it. Mention the UU Flower Communion Our church knows that sharing is very important. We have a communion called a flower communion. Each person brings a flower in June, and takes home a different flower. We share in the mystery of nature, and the beauty of the flowers. We share a part of ourselves. Does anyone remember the flower communion? What is it like? Snack: Eat the rest of the shepherds bread loaf, with butter and jam this time, and finish the grape juice. Ask the children to be polite and especially concentrate on sharing and helping each other. Ask them what the Christian word is for remembering Jesus' last supper - Communion.
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