This Sunday, the Church celebrates The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, or Corpus Christi. As we remember the sacrifice Jesus made for us, this is a time to help children understand the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Even though we memorialize the Last Supper every week at mass, the familiarity of the words can prevent us from truly understanding them. Jesus said, “This is my body . . . this is my blood,” creating a new covenant between God and man.
One of the best ways to show children that Jesus is present in the Eucharist is to take them to adoration. I attend with my children from time to time, more regularly in the summer, reminding them that we are praying in the presence of Jesus while we are there. We always go to kneel in front of the altar before we leave, to give Jesus the respect He deserves. I think this is particularly important when my daughters have been restless, noisy, or running around during adoration.
If you have access to a children’s adoration program, I highly recommend that you attend with your family. You can read about our experience at children’s adoration, and our activities for the Feast of Corpus Christi last year at this post.
Last August, while we were learning about Saint Clare, we made monstrances out of food as a fun learning activity. Saint Claire is often pictured with a monstrance because she carried the Eucharist to the gates of her abbey when they were under attack; she requested protection and the invaders passed them by. You could make monstrances for Corpus Christi too.
My Catholic Moms group made the base of their monstrances using a graham cracker, but we were absent that week and made ours at home with a half slice of bread. Use a round slice of cheese for the top.
I prepared slices of fruit and bell pepper to use as the monstrance decorations (we ate everything for lunch after we were done). The more variety you offer, the more creativity your children can express in their design.
Here are a couple of monstrances my daughters made; they avoided using the bell pepper because they did not want to eat it.
I also like that this activity creates a parallel between the Eucharist as holy sustenance and the edible monstrance as nutritive sustenance. This is a good way to demonstrate how Jesus feeds our spirit, like food feeds our body.
I wrote about that craft and some great coloring pages of Jesus in the Eucharist from the Eucharistic Youth Movement at this post. Hop over to find the links.
Or, see how to paint a monstrance here.