Eucharist/ Holy Communion
The Sacraments of Christian initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist – lay the foundation of every Christian life. The purpose of Sacraments is to make people holy, build up the body of Christ, and finally, to give a purpose/mission to our Christian life. They nourish, heal, strengthen and express our faith. Sacraments effectively assist us to receive God’s grace.
The Eucharist is “The Sacrament of Sacraments.” All other sacraments are ordered to it. Here we receive the food of eternal life. At the last Supper, the night before he died, Jesus instituted this Sacrament.
The Sacrament Preparation Program for children is a special time. The goal is not just to teach about the sacrament, but to initiate children into a Christian way of living and worshiping in the community. Keeping in mind that faith begins within the family, this program involves the child, the parent/family, the religion teacher and the parish community.
IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER:
- Full, conscious and active participation at Sunday liturgy every week is the most powerful means parents have for preparing their child.
- The Sacrament program is ONE parish program for both the families of school children and families of religious education children.
- The Easter season is the most appropriate time of the church year for celebration First communion.
- Children who have reached the age of reason, (age 7) are extended an invitation to enter this preparation process.
- Readiness is evidenced by
- The child’s desire to receive Communion
- The ability to distinguish ordinary bread and wine from the Eucharist (Jesus’ Body and Blood)
- The ability to receive Communion faithfully and reverently
- The child has received the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- The sacrament program is a two-year program, with religion class both the year prior and the year of the actual preparation program.
BESIDES THE CHILD’S RELIGION CLASS, THE SACRAMENT PREPARATION PROGRAM CONSISTS OF:
- Parent/Child class on Sacraments of Initiation with Mass of Commitment
- 2 Jesus Days
- 2 Retreats
- 2 Parent Classes
- Celebration of Reconciliation
- Celebrations of First Communion
As Mass is where we receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion, children need to be helped to participate in and understand more meaningfully the celebration of the Mass. This includes instruction about the meaning of the ritual, symbols and parts of the Mass. Parents’ regular participation at Sunday Eucharist with their child is a very important aspect of the preparation for this Sacrament. Weekly Mass assignments are provided to teach and reinforce this learning.