Welcoming Children to the Lord's Table

A Maundy Thursday service idea

From The First Church in Albany, Albany, New York (adapted from the Heidelberg Catechism)

Involve younger children at the Maundy Thursday celebration of the Lord's Supper with elders and children standing around the table, the children taking turns reading the questions and elders responding.

1. Why is this night different from all other nights?

This is the night that Jesus shared a special meal with his friends. It was the night before he was crucified on the cross. He took bread and gave thanks and then he broke the bread and gave it to them and said, “This is my body given for you.” He took a cup of wine and said, “This is my blood shed for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

2. Are the bread and wine changed into the real body and blood of Christ?

No, the bread of the Lord’s Supper is not changed into the actual body of Christ, but is a reminder and promise of God’s love for us.

3. Then why does Jesus call the bread his body and the cup his blood?

He wants to teach us that just as bread and wine feed our physical bodies, his crucified body and shed blood feed us spiritually. Jesus also wants us to know that through these signs of bead and cup, and through the work of the Holy Spirit, we share in his true body and blood.

4. What does it mean to share in Jesus’ body and blood?

It means to accept with a believing heart that his body was offered for us and his blood was shed for us and that he gives us forgiveness and new life. It also means that the Holy Spirit that is in Jesus is also in us, making us more and more like Jesus.

5. Can I take bread and grape juice and have the Lord’s Supper by myself?

No, this is a meal Jesus wants us to share together. By eating and drinking together we are reminded that Jesus wants us to love each other and to forgive each other.

6. Is this a sad meal?

When we remember how much Jesus suffered for us it makes us feel sad. But we also remember that Jesus rose from the dead and will come again and that makes this a meal of celebration and joy.

7. Who should come to the table of the Lord?

All those who have been baptized and believe that Jesus loves them and that he gave himself for them should come to eat the bread and drink from the cup.