The Sacramental Programme for Confirmation and First Holy Communion is currently under review in this Diocese. Therefore, for this academic year (2016/17), there is only a programme of preparation for First Holy Communion, and it is geared to Year 3 in Primary School (though older children who have missed the programme when they were in Year 3 were still welcome to join).
The programme, (which will also bring the children to the Sacrament of First Reconciliation), began with meetings for parents, but the most important aspect is not special meetings, events or courses for the children - it is simply about growing in their sense of belonging to the church family. Most of the preparation will be covered in the context of Sunday Mass (or Saturday evening if this is easier). After all, when the children receive Holy Communion for the first time, they are, in effect, saying "Now I'm fully a part of this community, this Family of God!" What could mean more now, than simply growing accustomed to regular involvement in the Mass and really gaining that sense, with family and friends in prayer and worship, that they genuinely do belong?
KEY DATES FOR 2017
1. MEETING FOR PARENTS
Wednesday 25th January, 7.00pm at Holy Cross
(Updates and allocation of First Communion places)
2. BAPTISMS (for those children yet to be Baptised)
Sunday 12th February, 10.30am Mass at Holy Cross
3. MEETING FOR PARENTS AND CHILDREN
Wednesday 8th March, 7.00pm at Holy Cross
(Preparing for First Reconciliation)
4. FIRST RECONCILIATION SERVICES
Either: Tuesday 14th March, 7.00pm at Holy Cross
or: Wednesday 22nd March, 7.00pm at Holy Cross
5. MEETING FOR PARENTS AND CHILDREN
Wednesday 24th May, 7.00pm at Holy Cross SEE REPORT BELOW
(Preparing for First Holy Communion)
6. FIRST HOLY COMMUNION MASSES
Either: Saturday 17th June, 6.30pm Mass at Holy Cross
or: Sunday 18th June, 9.00am Mass at St Matthew’s
or: Sunday 25th June, 10.30am Mass at Holy Cross
or: Sunday 25th June, 2.00pm Mass at Holy Cross
7. PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATES
Saturday/Sunday, 15th/16th July at all Masses
Please feel free to attend any of the Masses this weekend, but make sure you see a catechist at the door as you enter, so that your child's certificate can be added to the presentation set for that particular celebration. Children are welcome, if they wish, to wear their First Holy Communion outfits. Thank you for all your support throughout the programme.
Registrations are now complete for this year's programme of preparation, and the online registration form has been taken down. Any late applications will be considered on an individual basis - please contact Fr Martin at the church.
We welcome all the families (80 children in total) who have registered, and look forward to your continued involvement in our Masses and in the life of the parish.
And do, please, keep in touch! All the parish Sacramental Programme Team members are here to support you and your child throughout this wonderful time in their lives.
LOOKING BACK TO THE 2015/16 PROGRAMME
We would like to congratulate the large numbers of families who showed a real commitment to the programme last year. A letter to last year's parents/carers will be distributed through our schools, and can be viewed via the link below, suggesting ways in which these children might remain engaged with the life of the parish now they have completed this inportant part of their journey in Faith.
FIRST COMMUNION PHOTOGRAPHS
Copies of the photographs taken after the presentation of certificates for last year's First Communicants can be ordered from the parish office, at £2.00 for an A4 size print, or £1.00 for a smaller 7x5" print.
The photographs can be viewed (in slightly lower quality for web purposes and with names obscured) via the following links: