WHAT IS FIRST COMMUNION?
The encounter with the overwhelming Mercy of God in Reconciliation and the initiation into the Mystery of the Eucharist at First Holy Communion are milestones in the faith development of a person. First Communion is the first time that a child of God receives Jesus under the form of bread and wine at Mass. The Eucharist is the Source and Summit of our Catholic Faith and we surround this celebration with traditions and symbols to mark the joy of the occasion.
HOW DOES PREPARATION WORK AT OUR PARISH?
Preparation for First Communion and First Reconciliation occur together. In addition to participation in sacrament preparation retreats and activities, those preparing for First Reconciliation and First Communion must be attending regular religion classes either at St. Aloysius School or through the parish Family Faith Formation program. While the parish traditionally prepares youth during their second grade academic year, at an age when conscience and reason have developed, older youth and even adults can also prepare for these sacraments individually, in small groups, or through our Becoming Catholic (RCIA) process.
WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS?
Parent Meetings: Parents attend two parent meetings, one before First Reconciliation preparation begins and the other before First Communion preparation begins.
Assignments: Children and their families complete five themed activity booklets designed to bring everyone into a deeper relationship with Jesus while introducing the sacraments and how they enrich our lives.
Retreat: Children and their parent(s) will participate in the Dragon Slayer retreat presented by Extraordinary Mission. The retreat is a lively and engaging presentation that teaches children about sin and forgiveness, Jesus’ gift of himself in the Eucharist, and the sacramental graces poured out to us through reception of these two sacraments. A parent presentation inspires parents in their mission of helping their children to become saints. There is a nominal fee to participate and receive a goody bag of faith items.
Mass Attendance: Children and their families should be regularly attending Sunday Mass.
First Reconciliation: In late November or early December, school children make their First Reconciliation during the school day while religious education (Fx3) students make their sacrament in the evening.
May Crowning: School second graders wear First Communion clothes and pose for a picture following the school May Crowning Mass.
Corpus Christi Procession: All families are invited and encouraged to participate in the procession following 5:30 p.m. Mass and join in a social event afterwards.
First Communion Ceremony:
- Practice: On a Saturday morning proximate to the ceremony dates, all first communicants and parent(s) will attend a Learning Mass and Ceremony Preparation which is typically 2.5 hours including the Learning Mass.
- Scheduling: Families choose to receive the sacrament at a parish Mass time from one of the designated times and dates in the spring. Sign-up is typically done at the parent meeting in early February.
HOW DO I REGISTER?
Students who do not attend St. Aloysius Catholic School can register for the family faith formation program through the link shared here and also linked to our parish website homepage. Those who attend the school will automatically be registered through their classroom teacher. Payment can be made electronically through WeShare on the parish homepage, mailing or bringing a check to the parish office, or sending payment in the Sunday collection basket in a marked envelope, or by calling the Director of Religious Formation for assistance.
Candidates who were not baptized at St. Aloysius must provide a baptismal certificate from the parish where they were baptized. This should be done well in advance of receiving the sacrament.
If you are an adult seeking the Sacrament of Eucharist, information is available on the Becoming Catholic page.
For more information, contact:
Denise Brennan, Director of Religious Education
419-352-4195 ext. 110