In my last post, I talked about the Altar I presentation the children see, beginning at age three. Knowing more about the presentations we show the children can help you bring your child's atrium experience into Church! One of my goals for the blog is to highlight things that you can do to support your child's work in the atrium. I'm going to use the heading "Try This" on posts that have suggestions for parents, so you know just what I am up to! :-)
You can easily incorporate this altar work into conversations with your children. When my children were little, I often leaned over during worship to whisper a comment or question in their ear. (Actually I still do - it just sounds a little different with my teenagers!) Try something like this:
- "Look, Rev. Peter is lifting up the chalice."
- "There is the paten. Can you see the bread on it?"
- "Can you see the cross? The cross always reminds me of Jesus."
- "Aren't the candles beautiful today?"
- "It's almost time for us to go and have the bread and wine! That makes me feel so close to Jesus."
With this, the goal is not to test the child's knowledge, but to give you and your child the chance to talk about things already learned. Offer help as you go along. For example, if you mention the chalice Rev. Peter is holding, and your child looks at you blankly, say something like, "Yes, there is the chalice - the special cup that holds the wine."
Be sure to use the Church Search I flyer (which is available with the children's activities in the back of the Church). It has pictures of the objects on the altar, and invites the children to check them off when they see them during worship.
What ideas do you have for sharing Altar I with your child? Try something, then come back and comment to let us know how it went!