In First Holy Communion our children receive Jesus for the first time in the form of bread (which IS his body) and wine (which IS his blood). Jesus give himself to us as ‘food for the journey’ (through life and into eternal life) to sustain us and make us more like him. Holy Communion is also an expression of our unity as members of the Catholic Church and everything that the Catholic Church teaches. The decision to approach Jesus in Communion should never be taken lightly as St. Paul warns us that to consume the Body of the Lord in an unworthy manner has consequences (1 Cor 11:27-32). As such when our children prepare to make their First Holy Communion they also prepare for and make their First Reconciliation (Confession).
In recent years preparation to receive both Sacraments has been undertaken in our Catholic Schools, however, Communion is an expression of our unity as a Catholic Community and therefore from 2019 preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion will take place in the parish. Registration for the 2019 preparation programme is now open.
Who can prepare for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion?
To prepare to receive the Sacraments children must be:
- Baptised Catholic
- In school year 4 or above
- Not have received First Reconciliation/First Holy Communion before
What does the preparation programme involve?
The children will attend a series of classes in one of our churches and parents/guardians will also be asked to supplement the learning through tasks given by the catechists. The exact schedule and location of classes will be published once the registration period has closed and our catechists know the numbers and demographic of the children registered.
There is also an expectation that the children will be at weekly Sunday Masses within the parish. Communion is to become a habit in life in observance of the THIRD of the Ten Commandments to “Keep the Sabbath Holy”. For Catholics this means that we attend Sunday Mass regularly. To not come to Mass on Sunday (or a Vigil Mass on Saturday evening) is a grave sin as it breaks one of the Ten Commandments. Receiving Holy Communion in a state of grave sin is one of the ways in which we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in a unworthy manner. Any Catholic conscious of grave sin is duty bound to make Reconciliation (Confession) before receiving Communion.
- We appreciate the demands of life on families and the added pressures of work and family life in the modern world; finding the time to come to Mass regularly can be difficult. Holy Communion and the Mass are an expression of our Love for God in which he gives himself to us and we show our love for Him in return. It is the primary way in which we respond to the call of the FIRST Commandment to “Love God above all things”. There is an opportunity for TWELVE Sunday Masses across our churches; 5 on Saturday evening and 7 on Sunday.
- Coming to church can be a daunting task if you haven’t been in some time; and most especially if you have children who may be noisy or active. Don’t let that stop you from sharing in our celebration. Feel free to sit close to a door in case you need to move into the porch. Or how about coming to one of our Masses where we Children’s Liturgy groups where they will be taken by catechists to undertake activities and learn about the message of the day? The Masses where Children’s Liturgy groups are also held are:
- Saturday – 5:30pm at St. David Lewis;
- Sunday – 9:00am at St. Anne’s, 9:30am at St.Mary’s, 10:00am at St. Gabriel’s, 10:45am at St. Michael’s & 11:00am at St. David’s.
- If you need help getting to Mass, let us know and maybe we can try and help arrange a lift.
What if my child hasn’t been Baptised in a Catholic Church?
Children who have either not been Baptised or have been Baptised in another Christian church will need to undertake an extended series of preparation classes known as RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children of a Catechetical Age). They usually make Baptism or are formally received into the Catholic Church and make First Communion at Easter. Contact us to find out more.
How do I register my child for the preparation classes?
Simply download the First Holy Communion Registration Form below and once completed send in to the parish office. We will contact you after Registration closes on Thursday 1st November 2018 to let you know the arrangements. There may be a slight delay between closing date and contact as we work out the demographics and schedule. It is anticipated that each class will be run multiple times in different locations.