The First Holy Communion Preparation Programme is designed to support parents / guardians as they exercise their responsibility as the first teachers of their children in the ways of the Catholic faith.
In this Parish we use “We Prepare for Reconciliation” and “We share in the Eucharist” Books from the Resource entitled “On Our Way with Jesus”.
The book contains some scripture and activities which the children start during Saturday sessions with the Catechists and complete at home.
We offer our programme through regular Saturday sessions with the children. These sessions are held in the Parish Centre with a start time of 10.00am. Parent sessions are held on Thursday evenings in the Parish Centre with a start time of 8.00pm.
The Sacrament of First Reconciliation for the children normally takes place just before Advent and the Sacrament of First Holy Communion during May.
Communion is the sacrament which almost all of us receive most frequently, and so it may come as a surprise to find it listed among the sacraments of initiation. This connection makes us think, of course, of our first communion, of that day which few ever forget.
The Church teaches that this sacrament is the key to the others, the very centre, and it would be impossible to even begin to unfold its richness in such a short space as this. The Church has understood from the time of the Apostles, (as witness St Ignatius of Antioch who died in 112 AD), and elaborated in John Chapter 6, that our Lord really meant what He said when He stated ‘this is my body’ and ‘this is my blood’. This does not mean that the bread turns chemically into a slab of human flesh, but that the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ become really, truly, present sacramentally, using the forms of bread and wine to achieve it.
St Augustine tells us that ‘we become what we receive’, meaning that we become the body of Christ, the Church, when we receive Holy Communion. It was the body of Christ that died on the cross, so in becoming one with Him in this intimate way, you could say that in a sense we too have, in Christ, died on the cross. Therefore, it is intimately connected with our salvation.