I feel very awkward during communion. It’s not that I mind not receiving the Eucharist, I completely understand that aspect. It’s the looks and the fact that we (I bring my 5 kids) are the only people who don’t go up. Should we go up for a blessing? How do you do that again? Just embrace the feeling weird? lol. I almost wish we could wear signs…“we’re new here!”
I suggest that you do all you can to focus on Jesus (not on other people) and pray during the distribution of Holy Communion, and encourage your children to pray.
Jesus is present to us in many ways, but most intimately present in the Holy Eucharist – He IS the Sacrament. “Encounter” Him through fervent prayer during this time. Express your longing to Him, offer any and all prayers to Him, including prayers for others. Pray and meditate on the Act of Spiritual Communion. If/when spontaneous prayer becomes difficult, use the Missalette in the pews to help you pray. Pray and meditate on the Eucharistic Prayer, or the readings, or flip through the songs and pray a song or two, whether the melodies are familiar or not. You can also assist in the singing, which of course is also prayer!
Depending on the ages of your children, you can teach them to do the same, all in reverence, whether they believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist yet or not. Maybe you can print out an age-appropriate prayer or two for them to read during Communion. Maybe they can write prayers during the week and use them to meditate ad pray during Communion. Begin to teach them about the saints and about praying to the saints (to ask for their intercessory prayers).
Most importantly, give joyful thanks to our Lord!