3 year old at Mass


#1

How can I explain to my 3 year old son why he cannot receive the Eucharist? When we go up to receive he says the whole time "I want one today," and I try to tell him, it's Jesus you can't have it until you're a little older. Then on the way back to the pew he is screaming, crying, and mad that I wouldn't let him "eat." Any advice or tips?


#2

Teach him a little prayer to Jesus he can pray at that time....


#3

[quote="paul11b, post:1, topic:286726"]
How can I explain to my 3 year old son why he cannot receive the Eucharist? When we go up to receive he says the whole time "I want one today," and I try to tell him, it's Jesus you can't have it until you're a little older. Then on the way back to the pew he is screaming, crying, and mad that I wouldn't let him "eat." Any advice or tips?

[/quote]

Teach him the Spiritual Communion prayer and ... work on being more firm with him in other areas where you have to tell him "no".


#4

Honestly, I’d take him to see the priest and let the priest help explain it to him. Sometimes children just need to hear it from someone other than Mom or Dad.
Good luck.


#5

Take him to a Eastern Catholic Church.
There he can recieve Christ as it should be.


#6

[quote="Wisely, post:5, topic:286726"]
Take him to a Eastern Catholic Church.
There he can recieve Christ as it should be.

[/quote]

Actually I am a strong proponent of restoring infant communion throughout the Church but this is bad advice as he is bound by the disciplines of his own Church which do not generally allow this. Also the slap at communion as dispense in the Roman Catholic Church is verging on polemics.


#7

Personally, and obviously everyone is different, I'd be very clear with him that when he is older, and has learnt lots more about Jesus, and has carefully prepared, then he will be able to receive Communion like the adults do. I would also point out the children older than him who are not receiving Communion, and point out how nicely those "bigger boys and girls" are going up for their blessings.

I would actually avoid going too much into "why" he cannot receive right now, apart from saying that he will be able to when he is older and has learnt more. He is learning about negotiation, and he will think it is negotiable if you go too much into what is preventing you from saying "yes".

If you must, you could even talk about how "when you've been going to big school for a few years" and "have learnt lots more about Jesus and what Communion is" and "have got much bigger", "you'll receive Communion for the first time, and we'll have a party to celebrate" and "we'll invite [insert relatives]". "Won't that be exciting? But not until you've grown up, and been to big school for a while". Maybe reinforce again "see how big those children are, and they don't receive Communion yet". Perhaps even "it won't be until we've had your birthday, and Christmas, and your birthday again, and Christmas again, [1, 2, 3, 4, 5,...(counting up)] times."

Basically, I would make it something that happens at a given point that he hasn't reached yet, and won't reach any time soon. Make it as certain as starting school, or celebrating Christmas: you can't do it earlier.


#8

I am dealing with a similar ordeal with my son. He's much older but he has developed a serious fear of hell now. He is obviously not as much theatrics as a 3 yr old would be though. I'm sure he just wants what he perceives to be a snack. I hate to seem deceptive but you might consider carrying an animal cracker in your pocket. After he is blessed and you have received communion pull it out of your pocket and give it to him to eat while you walk away. It's just an idea to pacify him till he is old enough to understand. Good luck!


#9

Great Advice from Types and Shadows.

My grandson used to throw temper tantrums when he couldn't receive, not only because of age but also because he is not Catholic. I love the response of one priest, "Wouldn't it be great if everybody desired the Eucharist as much!" After that statement, he never again threw a tantrum.


#10

[quote="DebChris, post:9, topic:286726"]
I love the response of one priest, "Wouldn't it be great if everybody desired the Eucharist as much!"

[/quote]

Amen.


#11

We tell ours it is for "Mommies and Daddies and 'bigger bigger' children" She calls all adults mommies and daddies/big kids 'bigger bigger'. That works for her, as there are many things she wants but cannot have- ride the school bus, hold her sister alone, etc. She's used to us saying when she is bigger she can.

We also saw first communion, and explained to her that those kids are getting to receive for the FIRST TIME, and when she is bigger she will get to do that, too.


#12

[quote="Aggies08, post:11, topic:286726"]

We also saw first communion, and explained to her that those kids are getting to receive for the FIRST TIME, and when she is bigger she will get to do that, too.

[/quote]

That is a great idea!


#13

[quote="Wisely, post:5, topic:286726"]
Take him to a Eastern Catholic Church.
There he can recieve Christ as it should be.

[/quote]

Our priest was asked about this and Latin Rite Catholics are to follow the Rules of their right with regards to the sacraments when visiting other rites. Specifically, if a child hasn't received the sacrament in their own rite, the are not to receive the sacrament in the other rite.


#14

ONLY if the infant has received first communion and Christmation in an Eastern Catholic Church and ONLY if the celebrant has been notified before hand.


#15

[quote="Wisely, post:5, topic:286726"]
Take him to a Eastern Catholic Church.
There he can recieve Christ as it should be.

[/quote]

Wish all the Latin rite would give all three sacraments of initiation to babies. Sadly, no eastern Catholic churches in my area or else I would seriously see what I needed


#16

[quote="paul11b, post:1, topic:286726"]
How can I explain to my 3 year old son why he cannot receive the Eucharist? When we go up to receive he says the whole time "I want one today," and I try to tell him, it's Jesus you can't have it until you're a little older. Then on the way back to the pew he is screaming, crying, and mad that I wouldn't let him "eat." Any advice or tips?

[/quote]

Become Eastern Catholic. Problem solved :thumbsup:


#17

[quote="Wisely, post:5, topic:286726"]
Take him to a Eastern Catholic Church.
There he can recieve Christ as it should be.

[/quote]

In all seriousness which my last post lacked, chrismation is also required prior to receiving the Eucharist in the East. When I asked if my son could receive, and this is after like 6 months of attending the Eastern parish, the priest first said my son can't because he hasn't been confirmed yet. But I told him he was (emergency baptism and confirmation when he was 5 days old). So he was allowed but only after approval by the bishop.

[quote="JharekCarnelian, post:6, topic:286726"]
Actually I am a strong proponent of restoring infant communion throughout the Church but this is bad advice as he is bound by the disciplines of his own Church which do not generally allow this. Also the slap at communion as dispense in the Roman Catholic Church is verging on polemics.

[/quote]

Not true. We're still canonically Latin but my son has been receiving since Easter last year (when he was 1). And today my daughter was baptized, chrismated and given First Communion. And we're still canonically Latin. Though we've attended the UGCC parish since over a year and a half ago.


#18

I dont think that young should receive communion, they arent at the age of reason and wont really understand what the Eucharist is. Only those who believe it is the Body of Christ should receive it. I dont know a 3 year-old that understands what it is. Toddlers dont have much religious sophistication, most would only receive it because they think its a mere piece of bread and want to do what everyone else is doing. I think allowing that to happen is abusing the Blessed Sacrament honestly.


#19

[quote="MHT32, post:18, topic:286726"]
I dont think that young should receive communion, they arent at the age of reason and wont really understand what the Eucharist is. Only those who believe it is the Body of Christ should receive it. I dont know a 3 year-old that understands what it is. Toddlers dont have much religious sophistication, most would only receive it because they think its a mere piece of bread and want to do what everyone else is doing. I think allowing that to happen is abusing the Blessed Sacrament honestly.

[/quote]

Well, the Eastern Catholic Churches do it, so there's nothing wrong with it. However, the Latin Church has decided to not allow infant communion and we Latins must obey.


#20

:thumbsup:


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