When most people think of the Communion of Saints they think of the saints in heaven, but in actuality there are three groups in the Communion of Saints.
The first group does include all the saints in heaven. We call this group the Church Triumphant. If a person is triumphant it means that they won or succeeded in what they were trying to do. So it can be easy to remember who belong in this group because the saints have won a place in heaven! They are triumphant!
The second group in the Communion of saints is the Church Suffering. This group is made up of the poor Souls in Purgatory. These are good people who have died but had a little bit of sin on their soul and so they are not yet holy enough to enter into Heaven. These souls need our prayers. They cannot enter into Heaven without our prayers, so always be sure to remember the Souls in Purgatory when you pray.
In turn they will also be praying for you!
The third group is one we all know well, but we don't think of this group as "saints". The third group is called the Church Militant and it's made up of living people here on Earth who are striving to follow God's will. This group can include the Pope, bishops, priests, and anyone who is trying to live their lives the way the church teaches. All of us can belong to this group, but we must do as the saints in Heaven have shown us: We must live for God and try to do His will.
Field Trip - Activity:
All Souls Day is on November 2 and it might be a great time to take the kids to a cemetery and say a few prayers or a Rosary for the souls who are in need of prayers. This is a great visual reminder for children of who they are praying for.
Communions of Saints Activity:
Print the activity page of your choose – there are 4 to choose from. Have the children title and decorate their page sections as follows:
The top section should be titled Church Triumphant. Have the children draw clouds or color around the clouds in this section. They could also use glue or a stapler to add some cotton to make a heavenly look. Now they can paste on a few pictures of their favorite saints.
The middle should be labeled Church Suffering. The children can draw pictures, add photos, or write the names of those they know who have died. Have the children color the sharp rocks. Older children can draw sharp rocks or thorny branches around the pictures and names. This is to symbolize their suffering. Remind the children that these souls need prayers.
The bottom is for those who are living and striving to do God’s will. This group is known as the Church Militant. Draw or color the grass, houses, trees, flowers, then have the children draw or add pictures of the Pope, our bishop, as well as, family members.
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