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Need First Communion Retreat Ideas


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#1 Brother Adam Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:10 AM

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I am looking for ideas for a 20 minute small group session with 2nd graders for their First Communion Retreat. I want to replace the video this year that they used to watch on First Communion. The other stations they go to are: Reconciliation, Make a banner (using Eucharistic symbols to go on the pews during their First Communion Mass), Bake unleavened bread and listen to the story of Moses (it is not used at Mass, they take it home), Sedar Meal. I need one more station. Any ideas?

#2 Nihil Obstat Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:15 AM

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I am looking for ideas for a 20 minute small group session with 2nd graders for their First Communion Retreat. I want to replace the video this year that they used to watch on First Communion. The other stations they go to are: Reconciliation, Make a banner (using Eucharistic symbols to go on the pews during their First Communion Mass), Bake unleavened bread and listen to the story of Moses (it is not used at Mass, they take it home), Sedar Meal. I need one more station. Any ideas?

I remember making rosaries in one of my First Communion prep classes. Would take more than twenty minutes though, I guess.

#3 Raphael Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:25 AM

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Jennie had her kids talk about what they would do when a guest comes over and then related all those things to behavior, prayer, etc., at Mass. Then I think they drew pictures of themselves welcoming Jesus.

#4 homeschoolmom Posted 12 April 2010 - 10:35 AM

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Make wine? Twenty minutes of grape-stomping would be... memberable. :saint:

It's nice that you give them time to work on the banners there. We had it as a "do at home" project and... bleh... not fun.

The only thing that we had that you have not mentioned: We had one of the priests tell the kids about all the items he uses for mass-- chasubles, stoles, vessels, etc. It was really good. Our priest had a really dry sense of humor and told us that the word chasuble was derived from "casula" which meant "little house." He said that he thought of his chasuble as his "Little House of Prayer-y" And yes, now he's a bishop. :rolleyes:

#5 zunshynn Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:22 AM

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some time for adoration! :bounce: Especially if you have someone to lead it and kind of guide the kids.

I like Micah's idea too.

#6 Brother Adam Posted 13 April 2010 - 08:50 AM

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Bump. Keep them coming.

The kids review everything used at Mass and tour the church as part of the curriculum. We do the rosary and adoration in the afternoon.

The guest idea isn't bad.

#7 homeschoolmom Posted 13 April 2010 - 10:07 AM

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Do you do a "practice run" so that they know what to expect (especially with regard to the taste of wine)? I'm guessing you do... just trying to remember what we did for my kids' first communions...

#8 Brother Adam Posted 13 April 2010 - 10:12 AM

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Rehearsal is in the afternoon so we go over everything then. Giving unconsecrated wine falls under laws about giving alcohol to minors in our state. We were also taught at FUS that it is inappropriate to allow them to practice with unconsecrated hosts for a few reasons. Some catechists stick to that and some don't.

I have decided on a 'magic trick' station. I own the "Catechists Magic Kit" and there are tons of great tricks in there that go along with the Sacraments.

#9 homeschoolmom Posted 13 April 2010 - 10:38 AM

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Rehearsal is in the afternoon so we go over everything then. Giving unconsecrated wine falls under laws about giving alcohol to minors in our state. We were also taught at FUS that it is inappropriate to allow them to practice with unconsecrated hosts for a few reasons. Some catechists stick to that and some don't.

I have decided on a 'magic trick' station. I own the "Catechists Magic Kit" and there are tons of great tricks in there that go along with the Sacraments.

Interesting... <makes note to self>

Necco wafers can work in place of Hosts. Catawba in place of wine. Even if you don't do a run-through with wine, you may want to give the kids a little heads up on the taste (nothing like backwash or gagging...) I told my kids to press their lips on the challace then let a little pour onto their top lips where they could just lick the droplet off.

#10 Raphael Posted 13 April 2010 - 10:41 AM

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Interesting... <makes note to self>

Necco wafers can work in place of Hosts.

Yes, it should be something that vaguely resembles a host...as in, no Cheez-its.

#11 homeschoolmom Posted 13 April 2010 - 10:42 AM

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Yes, it should be something that vaguely resembles a host...as in, no Cheez-its.

:unsure: :blink:

"Oh, we're having Cheez-its? I thought you said we were going to get Jesus."

#12 Bennn Posted 13 April 2010 - 10:51 AM

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Adoration sounds like a good idea to me. Put 'em at the feet of Jesus! ^_^
What's better than letting Christ Himself instruct His little ones?

#13 tinytherese Posted 13 April 2010 - 11:00 AM

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You could also have someone read The Weight of a Mass or Child Guide's to First Holy Communion by Elizabeth Ficocelli. You could also have people share their own experiences of what their first communion was like.

#14 Brother Adam Posted 13 April 2010 - 11:09 AM

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We do read the Weight of the Mass to them actually.

This is our outline:

1. Opening Liturgy and Talk by Father
2. Stations
- Reconciliation
- Bake unleavened Bread
- Make a banner
- Sedar Meal
- Magic Tricks (Moral Conscience / Eucharist) / Weight of the Mass
3. Lunch
4. Rehearsal
5. Adoration and the Rosary

#15 homeschoolmom Posted 13 April 2010 - 11:14 AM

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That sounds like a long day. Don't be surprised if they start getting a little squirrelly during adoration-- especially if they are not used to praying and/or being quiet for long. I remember there were lots of kids at my son's first communion who really had no clue what to do during mass-- it was obvious that they were only there for the Sacrament and probably wouldn't be there again until confirmation. :sadder:

This might be a merciful solution for children who really have trouble being focused and still.

#16 Nihil Obstat Posted 13 April 2010 - 11:22 AM

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Do you have the opportunity to expose them to a bit of sacred music, like chant and polyphony? It just occurred to me that never during my sacrament preparation or anytime during my life so far in my parish have I ever heard "traditional" sacred music, and this is a sad thing. Only times I've heard it are when it's used for soundtracks in movies, when I actively go looking for it myself, or when I go to the EF.

#17 Brother Adam Posted 13 April 2010 - 11:59 AM

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That sounds like a long day. Don't be surprised if they start getting a little squirrelly during adoration-- especially if they are not used to praying and/or being quiet for long. I remember there were lots of kids at my son's first communion who really had no clue what to do during mass-- it was obvious that they were only there for the Sacrament and probably wouldn't be there again until confirmation. :sadder:

This might be a merciful solution for children who really have trouble being focused and still.


It is a long day, but there are 2 recesses in there as well. It goes very fast for them.

We have been running this program since I have been here, I have made a lot of 'modifications' that has cut out most of the fluff. Adoration lasts 20 minutes and they help lead the rosary so its difficult to get too squirrelly, but some of them are highly "ADD" (though I suspect some just aren't getting the attention they need), so I appreciate the recommendation.

We do have kids who drop in for 2nd grade and drop again until 9th grade, but it isn't as usual anymore as it used to be since we started using a traditional curriculum. More parents put their kids in longer who might otherwise not do so because their kids will be really lost if they miss too many years. No children are allowed to simply show up for the retreat and Mass. They have to have at least 1 year of prep.

#18 TotusTuusMaria Posted 13 April 2010 - 03:27 PM

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a children's holy hour!

#19 zunshynn Posted 13 April 2010 - 03:33 PM

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Do you have the opportunity to expose them to a bit of sacred music, like chant and polyphony? It just occurred to me that never during my sacrament preparation or anytime during my life so far in my parish have I ever heard "traditional" sacred music, and this is a sad thing. Only times I've heard it are when it's used for soundtracks in movies, when I actively go looking for it myself, or when I go to the EF.


:yes:

:bounce:




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