Preparation for First Forgiveness and First Holy Communion
Since 1996 we have offered sessions for all our children preparing for First Forgiveness and First Holy Communion. The children are prepared both in school or at home and at Explorers for the Sacraments of Forgiveness and Communion, but the Parish is where the children celebrate the Sacraments and these meetings help them to celebrate with the Parish. Also, as the children attend a variety of schools, these meetings provide an opportunity for them to meet and get to know each other.
We meet after Sunday Mass, six times during the period of preparation, to think about a particular theme, through a mixture of discussion, activity and prayer. On the following Sunday morning at Mass, the children contribute in a specific way relating to the theme, so for example, when we have looked at the theme of 'God's Gift of His Word' on the Saturday, at Mass on the Sunday the children process up the aisle singing 'alleluia'.
We prepare for the Forgiveness Service and the Thanksgiving Mass, which is usually the Children's Mass in July and so the children can be really involved in these celebrations.
We offer two fairly informal meetings for the parents of children who are about to receive First Forgiveness and First Communion. Why do this? What do parents need to know, other than vital dates and times? One of our main aims is to help find some answers to the many questions the children will ask during their preparation for First Sacraments and for the parents to consider the meaning of these Sacraments in their own lives.