Entering the Kingdom of Heaven
Not only is it an important year in the life of your child, it is also an important year for their class, their teachers, and also for you the parents/guardians. It is also a special time too for the parish community. Your child’s faith journey began the day you brought your child to the Church to be baptised. And what a special day that was for you and the family. 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.
While the Home is the primary learning place, each parent/guardian will be asked to take on a special role over the next few months, to journey with your 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. In our parish we have the Do This in Memory parish based programme of preparation for First Communion, which can be of help to parents/guardians.
Do this in Memory is a parish based pre-sacramental resource, which helps parents, children and the wider parish community to prepare for First Communion. It is a programme which takes place outside the school but which complements 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.
In this programme there are a number of Sundays where the children preparing for their first communion gather as a group Sunday Mass. During these Masses the children are invited to gather with their families and the wider parish community to become involved in the Mass by doing readings or reflections, light their communion candles, help with the gifts.