Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me…” Matthew 19:14
Christ's Life, Given for You....
Children in 4th, 5th and 6th grades should participate in worship regularly and may begin receiving Holy Communion after instruction. In the spring and fall The Falls Church Anglican offers an eight session Communion Preparation Class on Sunday mornings. Children taking the class must register with Jennifer Greenleaf, Director of Children & Family Ministry by email or by calling (571) 282-0401.
Why Are Classes Required?
1 Corinthians 11 offers clear guidance to the church about Holy Communion. In verses 26-29 we learn:
“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.”
By providing instruction for the purpose of preparing children to receive Holy Communion, we are attempting to live the directives of Scripture. Our hope and prayer is the Communion Preparation Class will equip children to “discern the body,” “proclaim the Lord’s death,” and receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
Why 4th, 5th & 6th Graders?
Communion preparation is offered to 4th, 5th and 6th Graders because it is the ideal time developmentally for children to receive this kind of instruction. Age 10 - 12 is an important transition period in the life of children. They are moving towards increasing independence and are beginning to internalize their values and moral principles. This is the developmental stage when children become capable of understanding abstractions such as the Trinity, and concepts such as substitution (i.e. Christ’s substitutionary death on the Cross for our sins). Children age 10 - 12 are particularly sensitive to justice. They can understand sin and are fully able to comprehend their need for a Savior.
Age 10-12 is often called “the golden age of reason” for children. It is the perfect time for them to explore the good reasons for faith and the reality of how faith works in their lives. Because they are increasingly influenced by others outside their family, it is also a good time for children to explore the relational reasons for trusting in their loving God.
It is during these ages when children often make faith their own and see the need to take ownership for developing their own spiritual life and being responsible for their walk with God.
Communion Preparation Syllabus
The message of the Gospel is the basis for the Communion Preparation Class, as is the foundation and the reason for our celebration of Holy Communion. During the eight sessions, class participants study and discuss such things as:
- Knowing God the Father
- Knowing God the Son
- Knowing God the Holy Spirit
- God’s Faithfulness and Our Faith
- Worship, Prayer and the Creeds
- The Last Supper
- God’s Hand on the Church Through History
- The Invitation to Respond to Jesus’ Gift of Salvation.
It is our prayer that all children who complete the Communion Preparation Class will personally receive God’s gift of salvation from sin in Jesus, and surrender their lives to His Lordship.
How is Confirmation Different From the Communion Preparation Class?
Confirmation is the means by which a person becomes a full member of the church. It is the ceremony whereby candidates confirm their commitment to Jesus and the promises made for them or by them in Baptism. During the Confirmation ceremony, the Bishop lays-on hands and prays for strengthening in the Christian life. The congregation joins in prayer for all the candidates.
At The Falls Church Anglican, Confirmation Classes are available to high school-aged students and adults. In the Confirmation Class candidates prayerfully study Biblical truths such as the Trinity, the Old Covenant, the Ten Commandments, Sin and Redemption, the New Covenant, the Creeds, the authority of the Holy Scriptures, the Church, Ministry, Prayer and Worship, the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion, and Christian Hope. Candidates for Confirmation who have not previously been prepared to receive Communion may do so during and after the Confirmation ceremony.