Saturday, June 11, 2011

Making Connections: Gestures

Jesus from our Last Supper Celebration lifting
the chalice in the gesture of the Offering.
In my last post, I wrote about N. and the maxim booklet he made a few months ago. As children were leaving the atrium that day, N. asked me if I would pray with him. I said of course and we sat together at the prayer table in silence. As we were praying I saw him pick up the book of maxims he had made, and with two hands lift it up in front of him. He held it there for a moment, then placed it back on the seat next to him and continued praying.

This is a gesture that we know well in the atrium - the gesture of the Offering.  Rev. Peter makes this gesture at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, when he lifts the bread and wine to God. It is an offering we make to God with gratitude - the bread and wine (gifts of the earth made by human hands), Jesus (given to us by the Holy Spirit), and ourselves (as symbolized by the water added to the wine when the chalice is prepared). We meditate on this gesture with children in the atrium beginning at around age four. But because N. is new to our Church, he had not received these presentations. He made the gesture spontaneously!

When he was finished praying, N. said "Did you see me lift up my book?"  I answered that I did see it, and I wondered what he was doing. He said, "I showed my book to God, and I thanked him for helping me make it." I mentioned to N. that Rev. Peter makes that same gesture every Sunday in our service, and that it means something similar. I encouraged him to watch for it during Church that day.

This was such a special moment for me as a catechist. For me it affirms the power of gestures as they speak to children, and it lifts up the grateful spirit of the child which we so often encounter in the atrium. 


  1. How beautiful and how special! Thank you for posting it, Leslie.

  2. Leslie, I have really enjoyed reading these two posts on the children making connections. This is the most exciting part of our job when we see the children making the things that have seen and heard their own and coming to God with them.

  3. Very cool! I love to hear how God is working in their little hearts!

  4. This is a beautiful connection!
    I am able to read it because of a chain of connections: A few weeks ago, while searching for information about CGS I found another blog that linked me to yours that linked me to the NACGS that linked me to a course that is offered in my area. I will begin next week! I will stay connected with your blog as I continue on this journey!

  5. Thank you for sharing this with us Leslie. It is heartening to hear how fully and spontaneously children respond to God. Isn't it wonderful to have the chance to be a part of it?

  6. Thanks everyone for your comments! Mary Jo, I'm so glad to know you are reading! Mary Jo, Sheila and Stephanie and MS - it is a real joy and privilege to have these little glimpses into children's spiritual lives and I'm so glad to have this place and all of you to share them with! Mary Alice, I'm so thrilled to hear that you are starting training and that the blog was one of your connections along the way! How wonderful and many blessings as you begin!


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