Chapter Eight: Fruit of the Vine

In this chapter we look at the wine as a sign of celebration. This is a different gift from the bread, which was a sign of our basic needs. so, when we come to the Offertory, we are bringing our basic needs, as well as our happiness and celebration and know that God will bless it all.

Talk about that at the Eucharist, we are nourished by food and drink and that this is Jesus giving Himself to us.

Think about the branches of the vine, throughout the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the whole Mass we are offering ourselves to God as one body, joined together by love.

It is a chance to prepare them for the idea of tasting wine at their First Holy Communion.

We want to emphasise that Mass is a celebration – a party. We come together to celebrate, as the body of Christ, and as part of a family tree (the vine), where we are connected to Jesus. The food and drink we share connects us.

Remember to do the online quiz (one for each chapter) – reading through the chapter and completing the quiz are the two things that must be completed, everything else is optional and there to support you if required.

Some questions to ask

Most of these are open ended and should be used to help your child explore these ideas/their feelings:

Q. What fruit makes wine? What is the name of the place where this fruit grows?
A. Grapes are the fruit used to make wine. They are picked and crushed to make the wine. They grow on a vine in a vineyard.

Q. What is the chalice?
A. This is the special cup, used during the Mass, where the wine is poured. When we prepare a special meal at home, we might put out our most special glasses or cups, as a sign that we are about the celebrate.

Q. What does Jesus change into wine at the wedding at Cana?
A. Jesus changes water into wine and allows those gathered to enjoy a wonderful party.

Q. What was the last party you went to? What did you drink there?
A. Help them remember the fun parties they have been to. Not just what they drank that made it a special occasion, but other things they did – dancing, singing, seeing friends and family etc.

Q. Jesus describes heaven as an everlasting party. What do you think the party in heaven will be like?
A. Encourage your child to let their imagination run wild here, encourage the idea that it would be a really amazing celebration. Here, your children’s answers need not be realistic, but a chance to explore the “what if…”. It would be good to link it to Mass is our chance to thank God for our blessing here on earth and to explain that Mass prepares us for this wonderful party in heaven.

Q. How is Mass a celebration?
A. Talk about the things we use when we celebrate something at home. Then think about those things at Mass. Hopefully your child will pick out some or all of the following: flowers, candles, songs we sing, special clothing – we will try to dress our best and the priest has special vestments too, gifts – the gifts of the offertory and we also give money at Mass.

The Readings

Old Testament Reading:

The Prophet Isaiah talks about people as the vineyard of God

The passages here – one about grapes going sour and the other about the abundance of fruit that comes from a vine well cared-for – are the way that the Prophet Isaiah tried to encourage people to turn back to God when they had gone astray. The Offertory of the Mass celebrates our connection with Jesus the true Vine, just as the people of God thought of themselves as the Vineyard of God.

New Testament Reading

The Wedding Feast at Cana

This was the first sign that Jesus gave of who he really was. No one wants a party that goes wrong! Having no wine at the wedding feast really would have been a disaster. Jesus helped the hosts to make the celebration an unforgettable one and, by performing this miracle, Jesus shows how abundantly he wants to bless us in our times of celebration – He really is Good News.

Colouring Page

Download the colouring page by clicking on it.

Suggested Activities

  • Treat the family to a special celebratory drink for a special occasion.
  • Talk about how you might celebrate your child’s First Holy Communion.
  • Spend some time in prayer, remembering those you know and love and thank God for them.
  • Download, print and do the vine and branches craft activity sheet.
  • Look at the online resources on the website – watch the videos or do some colouring.