08 June 2011

Circle of the Holy Eucharist - part two

This post follows on from yesterday's.

My desire was to create cards which would serve the dual purpose of presenting the Circle of the Holy Eucharist lesson in our classroom and be available for use by our children during adult services when necessary. I loved the idea of featuring photos of our priests and congregation (as done by Christ the King: see yesterday's post). So for over a month now, Vandriver has been snapping photos during our services for me.

Of course, when it came time to make the cards, I discovered that Vandriver had taken many beautiful shots of communion, but only two photos of the congregation singing a hymn, neither of which was ideal. What I needed, though, was only one card for communion, and four or five for hymns! But with some judicious cropping, sorting through photos taken at previous events, even hunting through the Chaplaincy's photographs on Facebook, plus a few "cheats" (such as using the face of someone reading a lesson to illustrate singing instead), I was able to come up with a complete "deck" of cards.

photo by seethroughfaith
At the time I made the cards, I had a vague recollection that Berryman's cards had been orange (all I can think is that that was the color of card that he happened to have on hand that day, and now it has become normative), but it was only upon re-reading the lesson on Monday that I understood that it was to help distinguish the two parts of the service - cards for events during the Liturgy of the Word are orange, cards for the Liturgy of the Sacrament are golden. So I have since gone back and added an orange or yellow stripe to each card. (Although Vandriver points out that these two colors are close enough that some color-blind folk may find them hard to distinguish. It might have been better had Berryman chosen two colors more distinct from each other.)

I used Powerpoint for the cards. For Sunday I just printed Powerpoint "handouts" on good-quality paper. I was in such a rush that they weren't even trimmed symmetrically. Today I'm going to drop off the revised file at the church printing office, and I hope they'll make us nice large (A5?) prints to be laminated for use in church, and slightly smaller ones for use in the classroom. Apart from the size, the cards will be identical.

All cards feature photographs of members of our congregation and/or the priests who serve us. Almost all were taken in the chapel where our adult services are held. A few have smaller photographs of Godly Play materials to emphasize connections - above you see the material for the Trinity on the Creed card, and stones in the desert (a prayer technique we have used) on the Prayers card. The New Testament card shows the German Godly Play picture of Paul writing an epistle (although my children have not had that lesson yet).

Some cards include some of the words that the congregation speaks together: Thanks be to God or Hear our prayer. Some include a question that parents might ask their children, such as What does the priest do while we sing? on the Offertory Hymn card. A very few cards include more text, such as the words we use to close the intercessions on the Prayers card. And a very few include a suggestion, such as You might like to make the sign of the cross, or hold out your hands to "receive" the blessing on the Blessing and Dismissal card.

Within the deck there is at least one photograph of vestments in each liturgical color, which is one of the things we looked at once I had finished presenting. This fit in perfectly for us with the reminder that this week is the last in Eastertide and that we would have a new color next week. I'll tell you a little more about our lesson in my next post.


  1. This lesson is totally new to me, but what a wonderful idea to use pictures of your own congregation! How did the children respond? I am always curious as to how very small children respond to liturgical lessons.

  2. I just used these cards with "Monkey" for the first time at today's service. THANK YOU!

    I think this is the first time she has sat through a whole "grown-up" service without insisting on drawing or running around and without getting bored! She sat on my lap for the sermon and listening quietly to that and everything else!

    We followed the cards together - sometimes peeping ahead and sometimes waiting for a "surprise". She grinned with glee when she recognised someone in a picture, especially Mummy!

    It also helped that she knew both the readers and the interceder so I think paid them more attention than otherwise and, of course, the last time she came to a "grown up" service was before the new format Junior Church... She has obviously learned SO much from regular attendance at a Junior Service (not just an escape from the main service!).

    She was the only child there and so was not distracted by anyone else, this probably helped, too ;D

    So, a huge THANK YOU to Storyteller, Vandriver & stf for teaching my Monkey how to behave at church!

  3. Could you please list the titles of the cards as you made them? I have a photographer friend helping me do this same project in our parish. Thanks SO much for sharing. It is such a wonderful idea, and we are so excited about it!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Wylie. I'm afraid that my cards are in Finland right now and I'm in England so I can't help straightaway. I'd love to read about what you do, though.


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