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Explaining The Lord's Supper (Communion) to Children

Updated on April 5, 2012

An Explanation of The Lord's Supper A Child Can Understand

You might be a child who is trying to answer this question about The Lord's Supper, or you might be a parent or teacher who wants to know how to talk to children about this topic.

I hope this site is helpful to you. If you are looking for other free lesson ideas (sunday school lessons for children, for example), you might also want to check out sundayschool-lessons.com

Feel free to send me suggestions and ideas or even questions.

-- Teresa Klassen

How Do You Remember Your Friends?

Have you ever had a friend who moved away? It is always hard when someone moves away, but the great thing is that friendships can grow, even when we are apart from each other. What are some things you have done to remember friends who have moved away?

  • Maybe you have a picture of them around the house; maybe it is a picture of something special you did together, and every time you look at the picture, you remember them and what a good day that was and then you remember a lot of other good days too.
  • Maybe you have a letter or an email from them and as you read it, you remember being with them and it brings a smile to your face; it makes you want to see them again.
  • Maybe they bought you a gift at one point and it is sitting on your shelf. Every time you look at it, you think of your friend.

There are people who are very special to us and, even if they aren't right in the room with us, we love talking about them and remembering all the things we have done with them.

Our Friend Jesus

Jesus is a friend like that. He is someone we don't want to forget; we don't want to forget what He did for us. Jesus loved you before you even knew about Him (Read Ephesians 1:4). Jesus wanted to be in a close friendship with you even before you knew that you could have a friendship with Him (Read John 3:16).

He saw that the world was full of sin (Read Romans 3:23). People were doing every kind of evil thing and this had created a huge, huge divide between people and God. There was no way for people to fix the problem, because everyone sins and God does not. He hates evil and sin and won't keep company with it. Sin is everything we do that is wrong, whether those are big or little things. Sin wrecks everything in its path. (Read Romans 6:23).

But God loves us. I can't even describe how much God loves us (Read Ephesians 2:4). He loves us so much that He went to drastic measures to fix our sin problem and to show us a new path; a path that leads to goodness and life with God.

So Jesus came. He came to show us what God was like in a way we could understand (Read John 14:9). . He came to tell us about God's love and to tell us to turn away from sin. He also told us that He was going to pay the ultimate price for our sin; and He did. He died on a cross for you and me. He was totally innocent, but because He loved us so much, He chose to do that to fix our broken friendship (Read 1 Thessalonians 5:10).

So now, when we see that forgiveness and admit our sin and invite Him to lead our lives, Jesus comes into our life and sticks with us (Read Romans 8:39). and guides us and helps us and loves. We aren't perfect, that's for sure, that's why Jesus' forgiveness washes us clean over and over again (Read Titus 3:5). . That's why we want to learn from Him and live the way He asks us to.

That is a friend we want to remember; that is a friend we want to thank over and over!

The Lord's Supper (also known as "Communion"): Remembering Jesus

Before Jesus died on the cross, He gave us something to remember Him by. He knew that we would need something like that because people tend to be forgetful, even about the most important things.

He had a supper with His closest friends (His followers were known as "disciples") and while they were eating He took a loaf of bread and broke it in two (To read about the Lord's Supper in the Bible, see Matthew 26:17-30).

Most people eat bread of some kind and so He chose this as a reminder for us. He said, "When you come together and eat together, I want this broken bread to remind you of what I have done for you." He told them that He would die for our sins. He would be beaten and treated very cruelly, taking our punishment upon Himself. His body would be broken, literally nailed to the cross. So, when we eat the broken bread, it reminds us of His broken body.

Most people drink something with dinner, and on that evening Jesus and His friends had some wine. He took a cup of wine and said, "When you drink, remember that my own blood was poured out for you. When you drink, remember that. Remember that I loved you so much that I gave up my very blood for you."

That's a lot of love!!

This supper, when He said those words, became known as the "Last Supper" or the "Lord's Supper". There are other names for it too; some people call it "Communion."

We eat and drink every day, right? But as people who love Jesus and follow Him, we choose to have a special meal (it isn't really a meal is it, it is just a reminder of a meal) to do just what Jesus did: break bread to remember His broken body, and drink juice to remember His blood that was spilled for us because of our sin. At the end of the Lord's Supper we have remembered the best thing we could ever know: Jesus died for us and forgave us and loves us.

Where Do We Have The Lord's Supper

There aren't any rules about where you can share the Lord's Supper, but it is usually something we share with others who want to do the same thing: remember Jesus.

So, often that happens in church. But just as easily it can happen with a group of friends who love Jesus and just want to thank Him again for giving His life for us.

How Does The Lord's Supper Work?

Different churches share in the Lord's Supper in slightly different ways (if you are Catholic, I understand it can be quite different from what I am describing here. There are great websites describing what Communion means to our Catholic friends, so I won't go into that here), but usually it goes something like this:

There is some broken bread

There is some juice

Sometimes you go to the front to get it.

Sometimes it is served to you.

In many churches, people take a piece of bread and a little glass of juice. Usually someone gives some instructions about it: eat and drink right away, or wait until everyone is served. In some churches, like the one I am a part of, we dip the bread in the juice rather than handing out a lot of little cups.

Someone reminds us of the words that Jesus said before He died, and then we all eat and drink together to remember the absolutely awesome thing Jesus did for us when His body was broken for us and His blood was spilled for us.

Is There Anything Else A Child Should Know About The Lord's Supper?

Having a "right" heart

The Lord's Supper isn't something we should just do without thinking. You should think about it and what it means.

You should think about Jesus' forgiveness and ask yourself, "Am I also forgiving?" The Bible says that when you are sharing in the Lord's Supper and if you know you have been mean to someone or you are holding a grudge; if there is someone you should ask forgiveness from, then you should make up your mind right then and there to do it; and then do it!

If you are being stubborn and you are deciding just to be mad at someone, you should probably not take the Lord's Supper that day because that would be like saying, "Jesus I really want your forgiveness, but I don't want to forgive other people." Take a pass on the Lord's Supper until your heart has become soft and you make things right with the person you are at odds with.

How Old Should I Be Before I Take The Lord's Supper?

There isn't really a right or wrong age.

If you understand what we have been talking about in this little explanation about the Lord's Supper and you want to remember Jesus and thank Him for what He did for you by dying for your sins, then you are ready.

If it is confusing to you, that's OK; keep asking questions until you understand that it is a time to remember what Jesus has done for you. When you understand that, then join in!

Ideas, Comments, Questions - I would definitely like to hear from you

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is a very clear explanation, not too denominational, excellent for using with kids. : ) Many thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      sooo helpful for church youth group, this week. Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      this is a great way to explain to my daughter who loves taking communion daily n prays but i felt she needed more understanding.

      thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Excellent! Thank you very much!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This lesson is perfect for kids! I am preparing a Sunday School lesson on Communion for 3 year olds up to 2nd graders and was looking for an easy way for them to understand it. Thank you so much for this lesson! It even helps me to understand it better:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is great and will definitelt help with my Sunday school class.

      Thanks.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wonderful! My daughter is 11 years old; she got baptized only a week ago. I know she knows about this; but as a mother I need to be sure that I am sure(if that is possible) that she knows the reason that she is partaking in the Lord's supper, this is good conversational material for bedtime, just before our night prayers. God Bless you

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is perfect for my Sunday School Class. Thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This helped me with my homework, thank you very much!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I like your approach

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks this really helped me with my R.E homework. I was struggling but this explained things really well. Thankyou!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks this really helped me with my R.E homework. I was struggling but this explained things really well. Thankyou!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This is great!!! It will surely help to teach this in sunday school to my kids.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i definitely liked your site it helped me with my re homework

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      1. how to explain this topic to the elders that reject communion for kids?

      2. help me with biblical (NT) view please.

    • tjk ideas profile image
      Author

      tjk ideas 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Rannu, there is a lot of tradition around communion and usually it is tradition that determines how communion is served and to whom. Anyone can eat bread and drink wine/juice; it becomes a spiritual act when we do it in remembrance of Christ; this is when it becomes Communion (from a Protestant point of view). The Bible really doesn't specify an age, but Deuteronomy 6 talks about parents walking with their children and talking with them each day about life and about our walk with God. It would seem natural that a parent would also walk and talk about the meaning of communion. It stands to reason that a parent is probably the best judge of whether their child understands the meaning of that special meal. At what point should any of us be allowed to take communion. When we understand EVERYTHING? Or when we understand SOME things. If we understand that we have a special meal to remember Jesus, would this not be a good start for someone to be able to participate? Certainly even a new adult believer cannot understand EVERYTHING about atonement and redemption, repentance and discipleship when they have newly accepted Christ. If we must have faith like a child, then the faith of a child should be enough.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you,

      This is what I was looking for something simple, but helps the children understand the importance of Communion, I purchased a book but have miss placed it. and I was asked the night before to talk with the children before they join their parents in Church For Holy Communion

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have to explain communion to someone who has been brought up catholic and is afraid to eat it as she thinks she is actually eating flesh and blood. This is beautifully written - i will read it out to her as we share together.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is a beautiful little description. Our Church currently only serves communion to those older than 16years who have been confirmed but we are trying to change that because the Bible makes it explicitly clear that Children are a very important part of worship and the church and what gives US the right to decide who deserves to share in the Lord's Supper. this is very simple, well written description I can share with my Sunday school class to ease them into the idea and importance of communion. Thank You!!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome tool for explaining communion to children, thanks so much!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is great. Thank you for putting this together. I've been looking for an explanation like this and haven't found anything this good. I don't imagine I could write or find anything better, either. Great job.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Well done. Thanks for saving me the time and effort of putting something together that would have sounded roughly the same in the end.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you for taking the time to do this. I wanted to use something like this to help our children understand why we observe the Lord's Supper and whom should particpate. The school teacher in me loves this lesson plan! God bless you!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you so much for posting this wonderful explanation. My grandson has been asking about the Lord's Supper. I asked the Lord to help me be able to help him understand and then I found your site! Thank you and God Bless!

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      emily-hoffman-758 3 years ago

      Thank you

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      kyahashi 3 years ago

      I realized yesterday that I was teaching Children's Church (elementary kids) today, and I hadn't brought home the lesson to look at, so I printed yours and used it - LOVED how it covered all the details and the kids understood it. THANKS!

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      christianCarole 3 years ago

      I am preparing what we call our Jr. Sermon for out children in church this Sunday. Because we celebrate communion this Sunday when I give the sermon, a brief and simple story, they can understand at their age, I want to talk about communion and have them understand what it is. This information was so very helpful, and I have my message prepared by just reading these questions and answers. This was great and I now am prepared for "my kids" and their lesson. Thank you.

      Carole

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      esme 2 years ago

      Brilliant. This is just what I need to discuss with my kids church group this Sunday. Thank you?

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      anonymous 22 months ago

      Really helpful thank you

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      chris 21 months ago

      Very well addressed , thankyou for covering the subject so simply yet so well.

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      June 2 months ago

      Iam teaching adults with learning disabilities about Holy Communion and found your website very helpful. I hope to use you again.

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