We expect to run a First Holy Communion Course somewhat closer to normal for 2021-2022 beginning in September.
It is quite possible that there will be still be restrictions we will operate under and we have to be prepared for the possibility that lessons maybe online or in person so there will be limit to how many children we can take on the course.
The course is intend for those who are members of our parishes and are attending mass – and priority will be given to those who are doing so regularly.
WHO IS IT FOR?
If your child is in school year three or above then they are the right age to be able to take the next sacramental step in their Christian faith. Priority will given to those already attending mass and who live within our parishes
First Holy Communion should be a wonderful moment in a child’s life as they are able to draw closer to Jesus through the regular reception of communion and making their reconciliation. At their baptism you promised to bring your child up as a catholic within the community of the church and to take responsibility for their growth in the catholic faith as “the first and best teachers of their child in the ways of faith.” Preparing your child to meet Jesus in Holy Communion is part of the way in which you fulfil that promise. them for First Holy Communion
The sacraments are not the next stamp on your children’s baptism certificate, but an opportunity to become more fully part of the worshipping catholic community. For your children to participate fully in the mass and desire to receive Holy Communion they can’t just be told about it in classes. They need to be experiencing the mass and seeing that it is important to you as well.
There is therefore a great expectation that the family are full practising members of the community and that they regularly come to Mass. If that hasn’t been the case up to this point you need to begin to do so now (not when the course begins) and intend to continue to do so after the course has finished. If not then you are better to delay First Holy Communion until you are ready to do so. Otherwise you will confuse your children by teaching that Holy Communion is important and at the same time showing them that you don’t think that it really is.
We will do everything we can to help and support you in your role as parents, but your support and your practical teaching and encouragement of your child cannot be emphasised enough. However many classes we run the child who comes to was regularly will gain much more from the course than the one who doesn’t
ATTENDANCE AT MASS AND THE PREPARATION COURSE
We want your child to enjoy this preparation time and ask you to look on it as an opportunity for your family, to grow in faith and in your knowledge and love of God, together.
To help your child prepare for these important sacramental gifts from God, we have put together a programme for them to follow so that when the day comes of their First Communion and Reconciliation, they will have grown in holiness, wisdom, and spiritual maturity. The programme lasts from September until the end June 2020, with classes of one a month on a Saturday morning for 1 ½ hours and weekly masses with once a month a month a special First Holy Communion Led Mass. In order for your child to gain the full benefit of this, we need you to give them, and us, your full support.
Alongside the classes for your children there will be support for you to accompany your children on this journey, including five parent meetings which will both give you practical information about the course and help you to reflect on your own faith. The more we have thought about own own faith and what it means to us the more we will be able to encourage our children. The meetings will include food and will take 1 ½ hours in the evening. It’s ideal if both parents can attend but that won’t always be possible because of child care.
If the children miss classes, mass and the special Masses, they will not be sufficiently prepared to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Absences and lateness also cause delays and disruption to the whole class. Obviously there are unforeseen events, which mean that your child cannot make a class and we understand this. However, if there are too many absences your child’s first communion will be postponed until the following year. So, we are asking you to make the course the special Masses, and attendance at Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation, a special commitment. In this way your child will see that you value what they are doing and, in turn, they will be excited, and committed. We are also asking parents to make the same commitment to the parent meetings/classes.
YOUR ROLE AS PARENTS
First Holy Communion is a special time when your children are welcomed into the body of the Church and begin to take a more active part in the community.
The parish recognises that you are the primary educators of your children in their faith and it is our sincere desire to work alongside you and your child to prepare for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, which are important steps in the life of your child.
Your support and encouragement during the process is vital to the Catechists and to your child’s faith development. Sports events, parties and other such competing attractions must come second to First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion preparation.
As parent, you have the most important role in the preparation process and as part of your application for the course we will ask you to make the following undertaking for you and your child.
That you will…
- accompany our child to Mass on a weekly basis as far as possible
- make sure your children attend their classes.
- pray for and with your child
- commit to coming to the parent sessions.
- witness to your faith by family lifestyle and conversation
- continue to help your child be involved at mass after the course finishes