Teach receiving Holy Eucharist with this coloring page. It's great for sacrament preparation, catechism class, and even altar boy training. See Rule #1 and some prayers below the picture too. This PDF prints 8.5x11" single sided.
Rule #1: Keep First Communion day low stress and say frequent short prayers.
It seems redundant to think we have to teach the children to say their prayers when they are receiving Holy Eucharist, yet we do need to help the children focus on Jesus without building stress.
Children are so often tempted to look around or to wonder where their families are. This is also another reason that many parishes restrict photos at this time. Photos are very distracting to the children. Even the family party that afternoon can be a distraction or add stress.
It is a super good idea to encourage the habit of saying the Act of Contrition on the way up to the altar and to say a Hail Mary when receiving Communion.
Saint Anne's Helper First Communion catechism has before and after Communion prayers from the Baltimore Catechism at numbers 77 and 78. Here's all of the First Communion questions and prayers here with a few samples below.
Did I mention Rule #1?
After saying the Act of Contrition or the Confiteor these short prayers are nice guidelines. We want to receive Jesus well and prayers that are sorry for sin can erase venial sins leaving a cleaner heart for receiving Jesus:
Once the children see how short these prayers are, they're likely to think of their own. It's wonderful when they pray directly to Jesus and Mary with their own requests.
Truly, make this as simple as possible, especially for little children. A simple prayer is best like:
"I love you Jesus."
And should not be any more complicated than a Hail Mary as this is not a time to be distracted nor is there usually much time for more. Again the idea is not to distract the children.
Here are some of the After Communion Prayers in the old Baltimore Catechism as found in the Saint Anne's Helper Communion downloads:
Added to the children praying praying at Mass, on First Communion day we like to ask the children for their prayers because they are so likely to be answered well. Parents can simply ask them to remember to ask God to help everyone who asked as well as family and friends. This covers those for whom we have a duty to pray and assures the children that they prayed for what they should.
See these related Catholic activities:
If you use the Baltimore Catechism, you'll love SaintAnnesHelper.com!
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Use these printables in your Roman Catholic catechism class, Faith formation, or Sunday school lesson. ~Mary Fifer