“Solemn Communion is all about recognizing God’s gifts to us, saying thank you and then enjoying them.”—Harriet Claiborne
Every Sunday during service we keep the feast, taking the elements during communion, but as adults we sometimes take for granted the understanding we have of breaking the bread and drinking the wine to honor Jesus’ sacrifice for us. To a non-Episcopalian or a child it might seem strange to say “Let us keep the feast,” walk up to the front of the church and be handed a little cracker with a sip of wine. What sort of feast is that? Why are we eating someone’s body and blood?
During the month of January eleven of our St. Philip’s youth (9-12 years) had the opportunity to take a First/Solemn Communion class. The class was taught by Miss Harriet (Claiborne), who has years of experience preparing children for their Solemn Communion. Experiencing Christ in a new way and understanding more about his gift of Eucharist are the primary goals. The kids met each Sunday for three weeks before having a weekend retreat. During their classes the children learned parables along with the story of the Last Supper; the Found Coin, the Found Son, and the Vine. At their weekend retreat they gave their confessions to Father Greg and made Anglican prayer bead bracelets as well as candles and communion bread to be used during the Solemn Communion service.
Their Solemn Communion was celebrated on Sunday, February 10, during the Comfy Space Service.
My son Kellen was able to participate in the Solemn Communion class, which is planned to become a yearly offering at St. Philip’s. I think he gained understanding into something that used to be just another part of the service on Sunday. He might have even had some fun! I know I enjoyed watching him learn and be excited about taking another step in his spiritual trip to adulthood.