When our son was younger, we tried taking him to churches whenever we had a wedding to attend or a cousin was having First Communion or Confirmation. His behavior during those attempts was, in a word, atrocious. More often than not, my wife or I would have to take him out of the sanctuary into the vestibule so that his outbursts would not disturb the others in the service.
When the school first approached us about our son going through the classes that they gave for First Communion and Confirmation. We were concerned about his past behavior and whether or not he would understand what was going on. I still don't know if he fully understands the significance of the sacraments, but his behavior during church has been exemplary. He really enjoy going to church.
The thing I like about attending the mass at the chapel in his school is that they tailor the homily to the special needs kids in attendance. The priest reads the gospel to them like he is reading a bedtime story to the kids. He then gives a very short homily, again as if he is telling the kids a story. It allows the kids to not get bored while listening to the sermon.
My son, really likes the priest that they have at the school. Whenever he sees Father Paul, his face lights up in a big smile and he says, "It's Father!" Father Paul always comes over to my son and greets him with a fist bump. I think it is pretty cool.
Today, while watching my son during the service, I was struck by how well he did. Whenever the priest did the sign of the cross, I saw my son crossing himself. During prayer, he placed his hands together in the typical prayer position. During the songs, he often started to dance a little. I think of King David dancing before the LORD. More importantly, throughout the whole service, he did not break into any of his ritual word games that he likes to do with us.
For the Confirmation sacrament service, the local Bishop officiates the mass. Father Paul still read the gospel reading to the kids. The Bishop also has a background in dealing with special needs kids and did an excellent job of giving a nice homily for the kids.
Prior to the start of the service, the Bishop spoke to my son. My son was particularly taken with the crucifix around the Bishop's neck.
Here, my son gets anointed by the Bishop.
All in all, it was a wonderful day. I am so proud of what he has accomplished so far at the school and how much he enjoys attending their church services. Of course, afterward we had to take a drive to the Golden Corral for lunch and then to Target to get a new CD player and CD.