Journey to the Sacrament of the Eucharist (aka “First Holy Communion)
Sacramental preparations at Church of Our Lady are designed as a faith journey for children and parents to take together - with full and on-going support from the parish. We believe that the bond of love between a parent and child facilitates heart – to- heart discussions and thus, parents are best placed to pass on the gift of faith to their child.
Journeying towards the Sacrament of Eucharist is a valuable opportunity to grow closer to Jesus, to develop a personal intimate relationship with Him through our daily prayers and study of Holy Scripture in conversations between parent and child. It builds on an understanding of the Sacrament of Reconciliation - that our loving God invites us into a special friendship and although all of us stumble and turn away from time to time, God’s love is steadfast. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, our repentant hearts are cleansed and God’s sanctifying grace restored in our souls in readiness to enable us to fruitfully receive the gift of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
The seven sacraments are an integral part of our Catholic faith. They use visible items as signs to help us meet Christ and to express our love and gratitude for the many graces and blessings that we receive each day.
In the sacrament of the Eucharist, ‘Jesus Christ gives his Body and Blood - himself - for us, so that we too might give ourselves to Him in love and be united with Him in Holy Communion. In this way, we are joined with the One Body of Christ.’ (Youcat 208) Thus, the celebration of the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit of the Christian life’ (CCC 1324) and in our programme, we explore its various dimensions:
- The need for an open heart, aware and grateful for God’s presence in our lives;
- The universal, communal nature of the celebration of our faith;
- Christ’s institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper;
- Christ’s sacrifice of Himself on Calvary to usher in the New Covenant;
- Our union with Christ through our own loving sacrifices; and
- Christ’s invitation to receive Him in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, to become a part of Him, the Body of Christ.
Building on its Jewish roots, the celebration of Mass is rich in symbols and gestures. These symbols and gestures are unfolded in our session.
Sacramental preparation offers a special opportunity for parent and child to regularly speak about the role of their Catholic faith in daily living. Besides suggested questions/answers to encourage meaningful conversation between parent and child, each session additional resources to facilitate faith-related family conversations are suggested. As well, parents receive regular emails to support them in the task on passing on the faith.
While young people (in Westminster Diocese) generally prepare for the Sacrament of the Eucharist in Year 3, older children and adults regularly come forward to prepare to receive this sacrament. Please do not hesitate to contact our Catechetical Co-ordinator, Margaret Wickware who would be delighted to chat with you at anytime. Margaret can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org