The Church urges us to receive Communion frequently (even daily, if possible). It is one of the three sacraments of initiation because, like Baptism and Confirmation, it brings us into the fullness of our life in Christ.
In the reception of Holy Communion, we are receiving the True Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, without which “you shall not have life in you” (John 6:53).
First Holy Communion
Not only is the celebration an important event in the life of your child, it is also important for you their parents/guardians, other family members, their classmates in school, their teachers, and also for the parish community too. it is an important annual event in the life of all parishes.
Your child’s faith journey began the day you brought your child to the Church to be baptised. Now, that child has grown, they are about to take another step in their faith journey, as they prepare for First Holy Communion. And we all have a part to play.
The Home is the primary learning place for all children and in preparation for the first Communion Day, each parent/guardian will be asked to take on a special role, to journey with their child as they prepare to receive the sacraments, as there is only so much that can be taught in school. Our teachers do a wonderful job in preparing the children for their special day, but ‘home is where the heart is’. And the home is the domestic Church, where our children are influenced by what they see and learn.
As part of our preparation for First Penance and First Holy Communion, we run in parish based programme, ‘Do this in Memory’. This is a programme which takes place outside the school but which compliments the school preparation the children undertake by providing resources for parents and guardians to help them to prepare their children for the sacrament. It also highlights the importance of the Sunday Eucharist ‘as a celebration where we gather, are nourished by the word and the Bread of Life, and are sent forth to live the Gospel.’ This programme has also been beneficial to the wider parish community by helping them to be involved with the sacramental preparation, through their prayers, support and witness, but it also helps the community to be renewed in their own understanding of the Eucharist and their faith.
As part of the programme, there is an Information Night, (where we meet the parents/guardians), an Enrolment Ceremony for you and your child, and there are a number Sundays set aside where you and your child will have some participation in the Sunday Mass. On these Sundays parents/guardians will be involved in the Mass by doing readings or reflections, helping the children light their communion candles, helping them with gifts and setting up their ‘KIDSZONE’, which sacred area in the Church each month with its different theme. It is also hoped that you and your child will frequent Mass regularly as your child prepares for their special day.
Each of the children preparing are also provided with a special THUMB book. THUMB stands for: That’s His / Her Useful Mass Book. THUMB contains a variety of ways in which parents and children can engage with the programme before, during and after Mass. The content of the THUMB book is as follows:
Introduction to the Do This in Memory programme including a guide for parents that suggests ways they might use the programme most effectively
What Happens at Mass?: An explanation of the Mass in ten parts. Two characters, Kath and Qumen, who are also preparing for their First Eucharist, help the children and their parents learn more about the Sunday celebration
The Rite of Mass: This will help parents and children to participate more fully each time they attend Mass
KidStuff: Activity sheets to be completed at home after each Sunday of the programme.
There are five Grapevine Newsletters to be distributed after each Do This in Memory Mass. The Grapevine helps parents to engage more fully with the programme at home. There is also a poster to be distributed on the final Sunday of the programme.
The dates of the programme for this year (2020-21) are: