Chapter 7: Bread to Offer (Liturgy of the Eucharist)

In this chapter we take a closer look at the third part of the Mass – the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

We think about the Preparation of the Offerings / the Offertory. This chapter covers the Bread to Offer and chapter 8 covers the fruit of the vine.

Consider how God feeds us – physically and spiritually – in the special meal of the Eucharist. Link this to the importance of food in our day to day lives, we can’t survive without food. We remember that the food we have comes from God’s creation but is also the result of the work of our hands.

Sacrifice – meaning an offering. During the Mass, Jesus offers himself when the bread and wine are changed into his body and blood.

The word “Eucharist” means thanksgiving. We give thanks to God for his generosity – and that should prompt generosity from us in return.

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 is the altar? Where it is in the church?
A. The altar is the table of the Lord – where the gifts are offered and where the sacrifice of the Mass takes place.

Q. What is the paten?
A. This is the special item where the bread is placed. The paten is a small plate that the hosts are put onto.

Q. What is the response we give when we offer our gifts to the priest at Mass?
A. Blessed be God forever.

Q. What do we do to prepare for a meal?
A. Allow children to talk about what goes into the preparation of the food itself – where the food comes from, as well as what we do to food to get it. You can also talk about what other things we do to prepare for any meal – setting the table and laying a tablecloth (as this can connect with what the priest does to prepare the altar during the offertory and preparation of the gifts at Mass).

Q. Where does bread come from? Why it is necessary for our lives?
A. Talk to your child about where bread comes from – see page 68 of the I Belong book. Maybe discuss times where people might have very little (like a country where there is famine). Flour or grain to make into bread becomes their basic meal and keeps them alive.

Q. What does Jesus do to the bread in the “Feeding of the 5,000” that is amazing? Can you make a link to what happens at Mass?
A. They may talk about the way that so little (the boy’s simple offering) became so much (enough for 5,000 and some leftover!). A natural link they may make with the Mass is the Offertory (where we offer our gifts to God, like the little boy did) and some may be able to say that we receive something (Jesus present in the bread and wine) at Mass.

The Readings

Old Testament Reading:

Manna in the Desert

Ask the children what they know about Moses. During their time in the desert, the Israelites became a community. They were entirely at the mercy of God, who gave them everything they needed. Even though they had not worked for it (and even grumbled), God provided for his children. You can make a link here with your own family: Children depend on their parents to provide meals and – in the same way – we are all dependent on God. He will give us what we need each day.

New Testament Reading:

The Feeding of the 5,000

Moses was the saviour of his people, but Jesus is the Saviour of the whole world and not just a particular group of people. The feeding of the five thousand is the same as what happens at Mass, Jesus took the young boy’s meagre offerings and turned them into something wonderful, just as the priest takes the offerings of the community gathered and they become Jesus’ body and blood – which is a life-giving, life-changing gift!

Suggested Activities

After you have gone through the chapter and completed the quiz you may consider doing some of the following:

  • Say grace before meals – giving thanks for everything you have. Simple words are best. Let your child take the lead sometimes.
  • When you attend Mass or join through the live stream encourage your child to look at what takes place during the Offertory.
  • Encourage your child to take part in our response at the offertory – “Blessed be God forever” and also the “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts. Heaven and earth are filled with your glory – Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord – Hosanna in the highest.”
  • Look at the online resources suggested on this page which will help bring the chapter alive for your child.

Colouring Page

Download the colouring page by clicking on it.
Loaves and fish
Loaves and fish

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.