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 five Saturdays/Sunday’s where the children preparing for their first communion gather as a group at the parish 6.30 pm Saturday evening Mass & 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 five 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 (2019) are:
Saturday at 6.30 pm Mass & Sunday at 11.30am Mass
First Sunday of Lent: Saturday/Sunday, 9th/10th March 2019
Third Sunday of Lent: Saturday/Sunday, 23rd/24th March 2019
Fifth Sunday of Lent: Saturday/Sunday, 6th/7th April 2019
Palm Sunday: Saturday/Sunday, 13th/14th April 2019
Third Sunday of Easter: Saturday/Sunday, 4th/5th May 2019
The dates for First Communion in our parish in 2019:
Lurgybrack N.S. Saturday, 11th May 2019 at 11 am
Woodlands N.S. Saturday, 18th May 2019 at 11 am
Educate together N.S. & Ballyraine N.S. Saturday, 25th May 2019 at 11 am