Child playing with communion host


#1

My family attended the Latin Mass this past weekend. After returning to our pews from receiving communion, I noticed my 12 year old son "fidgeting". When I looked over to him, he had taken the host out of his mouth and was flipping it around in his fingers. I don't know if he was playing with it or was examining it, but needless to say, I was horrified. His dad gave him a brief, and in my opinion minor, scolding. Reminding him that this was God and not a toy.

How would you have approached this? Would you have disciplined him, and if so, how?

Thanks.


#2

this is the second post today, from a parent not a third party observer, asking essentially the same question. No the time for a major scolding was not during Mass and your husband did right by making your son consume the Blessed Sacrament immediately. What is indicated is an immediate and complete reeducation on the Eucharist. When first instructed he was 7 or 8 and obviously now needs a catechesis suited to his age to reiterate what he learned at first communion. Today. Before he is allowed to receive again. If is is not up to speed on Eucharist chances are a re-education on confession is also indicated.


#3

I just found the other post.

Thanks!!


#4

Oh man. He’d get slapped over the head and yelled at after mass for a good half hour. And no T.V. for the rest of the day. Then I’d tell him that as his father he should never treat me with disrespect, so he should be even more respectful to Christ. Then, since he is 12, I would have him read on the Eucharist, it’s affects and the graces we receive from it, and about how much God loves us, and such and so on.


#5

I was in my late 20s when I finally understood what Transubstantiation meant (I’m still not 100% sure!). I would expect that most children 12 or under are just not going to understand this concept. As far as they are concerned, communion is just a piece of bread.

Admonish them if you like, but they will not understand why they ware being punished.


#6

[quote="missyfatcat, post:1, topic:214434"]
My family attended the Latin Mass this past weekend. After returning to our pews from receiving communion, I noticed my 12 year old son "fidgeting". When I looked over to him, he had taken the host out of his mouth and was flipping it around in his fingers. I don't know if he was playing with it or was examining it, but needless to say, I was horrified. His dad gave him a brief, and in my opinion minor, scolding. Reminding him that this was God and not a toy.

How would you have approached this? Would you have disciplined him, and if so, how?

Thanks.

[/quote]

I don't think he should receive again until y'all go over it with him very carefully and make sure he understands what's going on.


#7

Kids have great imaginations! That’s why they’re so attracted to Harry Potter and things of that nature. Really I think they would be more able to accept the Transubstantiation than a lot of adults would. However,they need to be reminded of how important the Eucharist is and that there are some things that are sacred and not to be played with.


#8

I don’t agree with taking a heavy handed punishment approach. It sounds like your son was curious about the Eucharist, and his curiousity make him do something he shouldn’t have. Your husband did the correct thing in immediately telling your son he was wrong and needed to consume the Eucharist. Afterwards I would have recommended that the three of you sit down and have a discussion about why the Eucharist is special and why it shouldn’t be handled so carelessly. Ask your son if he has any questions for you or if he would like to see the Eucharist up close with a Prist close-by for questions? Then let it go. I don’t agree with punishment for curiousity when no real harm was done. Sure there was disrespect but as it wasn’t intentional, I don’t think he should be punished.


#9

Anything relating to the Mass and more importantly a sacrament should never be used or withheld as a punishment. This may sound harsh, but any misunderstanding a child has with the Mass is the fault of the parents.:dts: The teachers/nuns/priests are not the primary catechists.

Ok, I got that out of me. This is a wonderful teaching opportunity for the entire family. Start off by asking everyone what their favorite part of the Mass is. What their favorite church song is - and the like. Ask if there are are any questions about the Mass. If mom and dad do not have the answer, look it up on - oh let’s see - the Catholic Answers Forum.:thumbsup:


#10

I think I would go the "I am so disappointed" route, lol!

I think a gentle reminder that what he did was VERY disrespectful, with a very sad and disappointed face on you and your hubby would suffice.

PS Do you guys always go to Latin Mass? Does he understand what's going on?


#11

Since this is the first time your son did this, I would not be too alarmed yet, Being harsh on him could turn him off God. As others suggested, I would use this as an opportunity to explain it is the body of Christ and should not be disrespected.

I would then add 'Now that we had this talk and you know better, next time it happends there will be a punishment.' You can not force your son to believe, you can give consequences to unacceptable behaviour

CM


#12

Yes, we almost always attend the Latin Mass. I think part of the problem is that he attends a Novas Ordo during the week at school, where they receive the host in the hand. The kids prefer the Novas because they don’t understand the Latin, even though there is an English missalette and in Latin that should be easy for them to follow. I think they are at the “bored” stage of their lives.

I’ve also been considering attending the school mass in order to see how he behaves there… and/or speak with his religion teacher about this.


#13

So perhaps he didn’t understand that he shouldn’t be handling it after he receives?

Is it normal for him to fidget in other ways? I just wonder if a Novas Ordo would be a better choice while children are young and perhaps are bored or don’t understand what’s happening in the Latin Mass. Of course, you and your DH may prefer the Latin and not want to go to the Novas, it’s just a suggestion.


#14

You punished him for not eating a piece of bread? He doesn’t understand communion apparently. Was he not feeling good and didn’t feel like consuming? Theres many reasons why he wouldn’t have taken it. I understood communion at 8 years old. There is no excuse for him being 12 years old and ‘not understanding’. Its a matter of what he was DOING with the bread. Why didn’t you just ASK him why he didn’t eat it? Then explain to him that he shouldn’t mess around with communion. I don’t know how he doesn’t already know this.


#15

BlueShadow, it’s not a piece of bread- it’s the physical body of Jesus Christ.

Edit to add: John Chapter 6: 48-71

48
I am the bread of life.
49
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
50
this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.
51
I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
52
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?"
53
Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.
54
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.
55**
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink**.
56
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.
57
Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
58
This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever."
59
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
60
20 Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?"
61
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you?
62
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
63
It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
64
But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him.
65
And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father."
66
As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.
67
Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"
68
Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69
We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."
70
Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?"
71
He was referring to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot; it was he who would betray him, one of the Twelve.


#16

Did you not read my post? It is a piece of bread to the boy. I said many times in my post he does not understand the meaning of communion if hes messing around with it.
Please don’t be quoting scripture at me about this. I already know what it says. Perhaps I should have worded my post differently.


#17

[quote="missyfatcat, post:12, topic:214434"]
Yes, we almost always attend the Latin Mass. I think part of the problem is that he attends a Novas Ordo during the week at school, where they receive the host in the hand. The kids prefer the Novas because they don't understand the Latin, even though there is an English missalette and in Latin that should be easy for them to follow. I think they are at the "bored" stage of their lives.

I've also been considering attending the school mass in order to see how he behaves there.... and/or speak with his religion teacher about this.

[/quote]

Why is he receiving communion in the hand at the school mass? I think communion in the hand is a big problem with kids. You very well could be right about this being part of the problem. Tell him to recieve it on the toungue always, period.


#18

[quote="BlueShadow123, post:16, topic:214434"]
Did you not read my post? It is a piece of bread to the boy. I said many times in my post he does not understand the meaning of communion if hes messing around with it.
Please don't be quoting scripture at me about this. I already know what it says. Perhaps I should have worded my post differently.

[/quote]

Yes, you should have worded your post differently.


#19

[quote="kib, post:18, topic:214434"]
Yes, you should have worded your post differently.

[/quote]

Yeah I got that.


#20

I agree that you should not punish him because that might cause him to have ill feelings for the Eucharist. I disagree though about 12 yearold’s not being able to understand the Eucharist.

We had the Latin mass until I was 8 yrs. old. I knew that the Eucharist was really and truly the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ because my dad told me when I was about six yrs.old that when the bell rings and the priest holds up the host and then the chalice the bread and wine are really and truly changing into the body and blood of Jesus. So we need to bow our heads to Him when this happens. And that when we receive Him at communion we have Jesus in us so we need to pray to Him at that time. I asked how this could be and he said that it is a mystery and God can do anything. I was so intrigued by this miracle that I never ever forgot it. In fact it is what brought me back to the Church one day.

So I am with those who said to explain this mystery to him in a very kind and reverent way before it is too late.


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