Believers in the Roman Catholic Church celebrate all the saints from the past and the present. On All Saints Day, Catholic children remember the saints who serve God. On All Souls Day, Catholic children remember and say prayers for individuals confined to purgatory. Catholic children serve as a part of the saints who live today, completing the communion of the saints.
Children can understand the communion of the saints in a pictorial representation. Your child can paste pictures of his favorite patron saints on the top one-third of a sheet of paper, pictures of those he thinks could be in purgatory in the middle third of the page and pictures of his family and members of his church in the bottom third. Alternatively, he can create prayer connections with his picture in a circle the middle. In a second circle, he can place pictures of those canonized by the Catholic Church representing those who intercede for him with God. In the third circle he can place the faces of those he prays for to finish their time in purgatory.
Prayers help connect the communion of the saints with God. Have your child write original prayers to the saints of today and for those saints in purgatory, the local church and friends and family. Commit with your child to pray these prayers for a week. Attend an All Saints or All Souls Day Mass. Use a prayer service to continue the activity during a family devotion. Allow your child to lead the prayers.
When your child prepares for confirmation, she needs to choose a patron saint. Your child can investigate various saints to choose a patron saint. Your child can look for saints who share her name or one who share an interest or circumstance with her. Once your child chooses a patron saint, you can help her find a pocket coin to go in her pocket or purse, a card with information about the saint or other representation of the saint.
Challenge your child to write a story about saints around the throne of God, those in purgatory and those around him. He can make the story personal, such as why a specific patron saint watches over him or why he prays from someone in purgatory. Your child can illustrate the book with pictures of the saints in his story. Alternatively, your child can write a story or biography of his patron saint.