At Brookside Community Church, we are an eclectic bunch from a number of religious backgrounds. Nevertheless, we recognize that many families have a deep history growing up with the rhythms and rituals of the Roman Catholic Church. One of those rituals—known as First Communion—provides an opportunity for 2nd or 3rd grade children to receive the Eucharist for the first time. We acknowledge that in many ways, some of the practices within traditional Christian communities reinforce a culture of exclusion and division. At Brookside Church, we celebrate an open table where everyone is welcome—regardless of their age, faith commitments, way of life, or any other reason. When we say all are welcome, WE MEAN ALL!
Still, we recognize that for many, the First Communion celebration is an important moment for a child. It serves as a rite of passage in many communities. At Brookside, instead of on focusing whether the child can participate in the Eucharist, our program reflects on what this phase of a child’s life symbolizes. This time in a child's life marks a new moment of spiritual development that should be celebrated. We recognize it as a time of growing independence. We sense that they are entering the world on their own for the first time, tentatively, bravely, formatively. We recognize their need for close support along with a new, more distant kind that allows a child to take a leap into the unknown.
At Brookside, our Communion Day Celebration turns this rite of passage into a formal ceremony that brings together family in a meaningful way, to mark, recognize and create an opportunity for growth, enrichment and memory. For some, it will serve as the first moment they will fully celebrate Communion with us. For others, it will mark a moment to remind them that as they grow in independence, they are surrounded and supported by a community that is committed to loving and caring for them.
All of our children are invited to join the Communion Day lessons during Children's Church for three Sundays. Those children who are of the designated age and have requested to participate in the Communion Day Celebration will be asked to stay briefly after the service one Sunday to talk about the celebration with the Deacons and our Pastor. Then, when the day comes, we have our Communion-Day Celebration during the service, marking our commitment as a congregation to be a people of care that will support and nurture our young people.
If you have a child of an age you feel is appropriate for this service, please contact our pastor at firstname.lastname@example.org.