It is a day that we have been wondering about, hoping, and praying about for quite some time. There were many times I was doubtful that it would happen at all and, if so, how.
This started coming to a head when Ben kept asking about Communion and wanting to partake himself. He was showing an interest, desire, and some of the basic elements involved in The Sacrament.
On Christmas Eve, 2020, Ben had his first Communion!
What an awesome time!
Leading up to the day caused a lot of reflection on my part. As a pastor and as a dad. It caused me to seriously rethink simple items like “examining self” and what that entails. It caused me to think about what level of mental acuity is really needed and what needs to be understood before partaking of the Lord’s Supper – both of the Supper itself as well as Faith in general.
It caused me to grow.
As I thought about what Ben knows, what he believes, how he learns, as well as the Eucharist’s meaning and purpose, I was routed to Social Stories and some materials by Bethesda Lutheran Communities (an amazing organization I was privileged to serve as a Board member for several years). I wanted a solution that would walk him through what is needed and what he knows in a way that is simple, repeatable, and helps him to “examine himself” in a way that makes sense and works for him.
Jen and I went through a few drafts of a story and then we shared it with Daniel and Rachel. They gave some great feedback and we reworked and rearranged some items based on their input.
Ben’s Holy Communion Social Story
We went over this and the concepts several times prior to his First Communion. He now also goes through it every Sunday before we celebrate it.
SOME RESOURCES USED
- First Communion Social Story: https://simplycatholic.net/2009/02/10/first-communion-social-story/
- From Bethesda Lutheran Communities – “Building on the Rock” Curriculum, Unit 3
- Jennifer, Daniel, and Rachel Heitshusen
We want to sincerely thank the elders of LifeBridge for making this happen!
Jennifer reminded me prior to this event that Ben was born on Transfiguration Sunday, Baptized on Easter, and had his First Communion on Christmas! What a legacy of grace our Lord has shown to and through Ben!
Thank you, also, to Ben’s amazing Godparents (Mark, Mary Beth, Tony, Carmen, Ken, and Caroline) who have and continue to pray for Ben and his Faith! This event is evidence that your prayers matter and produce Fruit!