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 compliments 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 nine Sunday’s where the children preparing for their first communion gather as a group at the parish 9: 30am & 11: 30 am Sunday Mass. During this Mass the children are invited to gather with their families and the wider parish community to become familiar with the Mass. Parents / Guardians can also be involved in the Mass by doing readings or reflections, helping the children light their communion candles, helping them with gifts and setting up their ‘KIDSZONE’ sacred area in the Church each month with its different theme.
Each of the children preparing are also provided with a special THUMB book. THUMB stands for: That’s His / Her Useful Mass Book. THUMB contains a variety of ways in which parents and children can engage with the programme before, during and after Mass. The content of the THUMB book is as follows:
- Introduction to the Do This in Memory programme including a guide for parents that suggests ways they might use the programme most effectively
- What Happens at Mass?: An explanation of the Mass in ten parts. Two characters, Kath and Qumen, who are also preparing for their First Eucharist, help the children and their parents learn more about the Sunday celebration
- The Rite of Mass: This will help parents and children to participate more fully each time they attend Mass
- KidStuff: Activity sheets to be completed at home after each Sunday of the programme.
There are nine Grapevine Newsletters to be distributed after each Do This in Memory Mass. The Grapevine helps parents to engage more fully with the programme at home. There is also a poster to be distributed on the final Sunday of the programme.
The dates of the programme for this year (2016-17) are:
Sundays at 9.30am & 11.30am Masses
Enrolment Sunday – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Sunday, 2 October 2016
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time: Sunday, 30 October 2016
Feast of Christ the King: Sunday, 20 November 2016
3rd Sunday of Advent: Sunday, 11 December 2016
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time: Sunday, 22 January 2017
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Sunday, 12 February 2017
3rd Sunday of Lent: Sunday, 19 March 2017
Palm Sunday: Sunday, 9 April 2017
3rd Sunday of Easter: Sunday, 30 April 2017
Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi): Sunday, 18 June 2017
The dates for First Communion in our parish in 2017:
Woodlands N.S. Saturday, 6th May 2017 at 11am
Lurgybrack N.S. Saturday, 13th May 2017 at 11am
Educate together N.S. & Ballyraine N.S. Saturday, 20th May 2017 at 11am
PARISH REGISTRATION FORM FOR FIRST COMMUNION: Registration for First Communion 2016-17
All forms to be returned to the Parochial House or to the Sacristy in the Church after any Mass, on or before Monday 26th September 2016.