On Monday, I shared with you one of the works we have in the Atrium for Lent. Today I want to share another one with you. The last supper, or the cenacal, is a cornerstone work in the Atrium! This work is all about the gift the Last Supper and it is a really moving work to do with the kids. This work starts off with the reading of the Gospel story of the last supper from the Gospel of Mark 14: 12- 16, 22-26. What I love about this work is that it is not only meditative, it is also really hands on and fun for the kids! Here is what you can do to present this at home for your family!
The materials you need for this presentation are :
12 Apostle Figures ( used peg people for these)
A Jesus Figure
Small Table with white cloth
Small Chalice and Paten with bread
Small Candles (I use birthday candles in small candle holders made from Sculpty Clay)
We also have an Upper Room with a drawer for the work, but you could just use a table and a wooden box to set things on. Maybe something from a Melissa and Doug toy! You can out all the materials in a basket for the presentation ( I place the small bits in a small box)!
You want to start by reading the Bible passage right from the Bible. This is an important element in the Atrium. Just like Maria Montessori believed that small children could learn hard things, we believe the children can understand the full words of Jesus too! After reading the bible passage have a little reflection. Reflection in the Atrium is us meditating WITH the child. There are no right answers, just thoughts, ideas, and speaking of the Lord in their hearts. We talk slowly, and we give plenty of pauses for them to have a moment to think and respond. Here are some of the questions that we ask to help the children think.
Who was in the story?
Next you start to pull out the materials. Start with the Jesus figure and two apostles. What do we remember was said? Right Jesus told them to follow the man with the water and he will show you a room furnished (that means it had furniture) and this is where the apostles were to prepare the Passover meal. Move the two figured to the upper room and place the table in the middle, lay the table cloth on the table, and place the chalice and patten there. When it was dark the apostles came with Jesus. Place Jesus and the apostles around the table. Next we heard Jesus took the bread, blessed it and gave it to his apostles saying “This is my body”. Next he took the cup, blessed it and gave it to them saying this “This is my blood”. After singing some songs, then left to the Garden of Olives. (Here I usually sing a little song with the kids like Jesus and his apostles as I move them away from the table). Next, leaving the table set, tell the kids “After they left, we know Jesus went to the garden to pray, but then the soldiers came and arrested him. He was crucified and died on the cross and it seemed like the light went out of the world”. Place the small crucifix on the table and dim the lights. “But we know that Jesus didnt stay dead, he rose again!” Place the candles on either end of the table. “The light came back into the world” Light the candles. Sit and wonder over the beauty of the scene in silence for a moment. After a moment, quietly ask some more reflection questions:
“What can we say to Jesus as we think about this?’
“What do you think that the Apostles felt when they were there?” “How did Jesus feel when he gave us this gift?”
“What would it have been like?”
“How much Love do you think Jesus have for us?”
These questions often led the kids to express great love for Jesus. I am always amazed that each time I offer this presentation, no matter to which kids are there, I always have kids have lots to say about Jesus and they always thank him and share their love! This work is powerful and beautiful. After the presentation, the kids are free to use the work. Now, as I said in the last post, this is really better when done in the Atrium with a trained Catechist. However, I know that there are so many people who dont have the option to work in an Atrium, so I offer this to give you a chance to do some of it at home. If you do this work, I would love to hear how it works out for your family! I am sending you all prayers for a happy and holy week!