First Communion Catechesis

These are questions prepared for a review for children about to receive their First Communion. The idea was to take the concepts directly from the Compendium, which the parents have a copy of, but to word the concepts on a 2nd grade level. I’m also looking for suggestions about how the wording might be improved, considering the age group, but especially interested in criticism as to unintended confusion or error.

What is the Eucharist?
Circle the BEST response:

  1. The Eucharist is
    a. a symbol of the sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus on the Cross, like a picture, a movie, a poem, or a song.
    b. just like the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, but new each time
    c. the exact same, one-and-only sacrifice in which Jesus offered His Body and Blood on the Cross.

  2. The Eucharist is
    a. the highest and best thing that the Church does
    b. a really good way to worship God
    c. not as good as saying the rosary, but a very good way to pray

  3. Our worship of God at Mass includes
    a. The Liturgy of the Word, the part with the readings and the homily
    b. The Liturgy of the Eucharist, the part when the bread and wine are blessed and consecrated and communion is shared.
    c. The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist , all as one piece.

  4. When we say the Mass is a memorial of the sacrifice Jesus offered to the Father on the Cross, we mean that it
    a. is like a play or a movie, in which we pretend what happened.
    b. is like when we imagine someone who is dead as if they were alive again, and it really feels as if they were really there.
    c. brings us to the real event, so that we are really there ourselves.

  5. We should
    a. show respect for the Blessed Sacrament, because the Blessed Sacrament is a symbol of Jesus.
    b. adore and show every reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, because the Blessed Sacrament is Jesus, our Lord and God.

  6. When we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, we meet him
    a. as a symbol, as if we had a picture or heard a recording of him
    b. in person but not personally, as if we saw him speaking from a stage
    c. in person as if he were talking directly to us, looking into our eyes
    d. more in person than any other human can ever be in person to us

  7. Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament
    a. as a symbol; it reminds us of him like a picture or special music
    b. in Body only
    c. in Spirit only, but it is the Spirit of God
    d. in his Body and Blood, which is a symbol of God
    e. totally, in both Body and Blood, and as both God and Man.

  8. When the priest consecrates the bread and wine at Mass, what changes is
    a. only what the things being consecrated look like or smell like.
    b. only what the things being consecrated remind us of.
    c. what the things being consecrated are, but not what they look like or smell like.
    d. what the things being consecrated are, and what they look like and smell like, too.

  9. When we receive Holy Communion, we must
    a. not have committed what we know is a serious sin on purpose since the last time we celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
    b. have our heart and mind as totally on Jesus we are able
    c. not have eaten anything for at least one hour before receiving Communion.
    d. always use actions that remind ourselves and others that we are receiving Jesus, who is our Lord and God.
    e. all of the above

These questions are WAY too wordy, and are way above 2nd grade level IMHO.

Here’s what I would ask:

The Eucharist is ________
a. a symbol
b. the Body and Blood of Christ
c. bread and wine
d. b and c

On the night before he died, Jesus celebrated _____ with his disciples.
a. the Last Supper
b. the wedding feast at Cana
c. a meal in the Temple
d. a meal at Peter’s home

Our worship of God at Mass includes ________
a. God’s Word
b. The Eucharist
c. God’s Word and the Eucharist
d. None of the above

Jesus is present in the Blessed Sacrament _______
a. as a symbol
b. in Body only
c. in Spirit only
d. in his Body and Blood
e. Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity

When the Church celebrates the Eucharist, _____ is truly and really present under the appearances of bread and wine.
a. the Father
b. Jesus
c. the Holy Spirit
d. all of the above

Jesus gave us the gift of the Eucharist _____.
a. at the Last Supper
b. as he was dying on the cross
c. when he rose from the dead
d. at the first Pentecost

Jesus took bread and blessed it and said, “Take this. It is my _____.”
a. blood
b. body
c. gift to you
d. body and blood

The word eucharist means to _____.
a. trust
b. believe
c. give thanks
d. worship

The Eucharist joins us more fully to _____.
a. Jesus
b. one another
c. the Holy Trinity
d. all of the above

_____ is another name Catholics use for the bread consecrated at Mass, which has become the Body of Christ.
a. Host
b. Blessed Sacrament
c. both a or b
d. chalice

The _____ is the special place in which the Blessed Sacrament is kept or reserved.
a. ambo
b. tabernacle
c. both a and b
d. none of the above

The burning _____ tells us that the Blessed Sacrament is in the tabernacle.
a. Easter candle
b. altar candle
c. sanctuary lamp
d. votive candle

When we receive Holy Communion, we must _______
a. be free from serious sin.
b. have our heart and mind as totally on Jesus we are able
c. not have eaten anything for at least one hour before receiving Communion.
d. all of the above

1ke: Thank you!!

First, God bless you for your service to the Church… I’m a fellow Catechist (4th graders) so I hope I can help a bit:

The ONLY answer I would ever want is: The Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

  1. The Eucharist is
    a. the highest and best thing that the Church does
    b. a really good way to worship God
    c. not as good as saying the rosary, but a very good way to pray

Wow… I’m glad I don’t teach 2nd grade… this is tough! I like your answer “a”… kinda a easy version of “the source and summit of Christian life”.

I can’t offer anything for the rest… other than in # 7 to stress the Body, Blood, SOUL, and DIVINTY of Christ in the Eucharist… I use the “BBSD” as a memory device and we have a little song/chant to help my kids remember.

Again, bless you for your service and bless your students at this wonderful time.

Yes, this is tough! The idea is so prevalent that the Eucharist is where we receive Jesus (not a bad thing!) that the idea that the Eucharist is a sacrifice offered to God can kind of get lost.

It is also tough to convey the reality of the Mass…although sometimes I think children have less of a problem with it than adults do. It is tougher to have faith when you’ve lost even the appropriate connection between reality and imagination. (It makes it tough to learn physics, too, as far as that goes! :smiley: )

Also, the Church uses the word “Eucharist” both to mean the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament, so I have that habit to contend with.

I think I just need to remember that this is an unspeakably deep and beautiful topic, one whose depths are not going to be plumbed by the end of 2nd grade! We have to start with a dose they can manage.

I’m thinking of keeping this one, re-written like this:

Is that 2nd grade level?

How about
b. One of many equally good ways to worship…

says the same thing but gets some of the words out.

I agree with 1ke above about the wordiness of the first set. I didn’t read the substitute questions all the way through, though, but they looked much shorter.

Too wordy.

Simple sentences with one or two word answers, maybe a few phrases. Also don’t use a lot of conjunctions like “but” that makes part of a phrase true and part of it false and don’t use double negatives. That age can’t really distinguish these “tricky” phrases yet. Be direct.

  1. The Mass is
    a. the best way we worship God
    b. one way to pray
    c. boring
    d. the same as saying a Rosary

Well, “c” could be true, and that would be totally besides the point. How you feel about Mass or how well or badly a particular liturgy is done doesn’t change what it is. Besides, some of us are given the cross to bear of having great difficulty making a sustained emotional or intellectual connection with the Mass. There are not a few eight-year-olds afflicted with this cross. There are things that can be tried to remedy this, but these aren’t guaranteed cures.

By the way, these are not questions the kids are going to be asked to slog through on their own! These are discussion questions that we would go through together, one at a time. In other words, we would have the opportunity to question and discuss “what does that mean” at each question and answer.

I still suggest you use simple questions/phrases. This is not a reading comprehension class, and long sentences, confusing phrases, etc, will distract from what you are trying to teach.

Have you taught this material previously? Are you using this for review? A more interesting way to present it to the kids is in a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire game format if you want to stick to multi-choice, or use Jeopardy for an open-ended question/answer format.

If it’s the first time you are presenting it, this is probably not the best way because it lacks context.

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