First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion Programme
Sept 2017 – May 2018
If your child will be eight years old before August (2018), and you would like him/her to receive First Holy Communion next year, please complete the application form and return it to the Rectory by Sunday 10th September 2017, at the latest. Please enclose a copy of your child’s baptism certificate with the application form. Application forms are available at the back of the church. The first parents’ meeting will be Monday 11th September at 8:00 PM.
To contribute to your child’s preparation for this very important sacrament, we are asking that all parents attend a number of evening sessions exploring our Catholic faith. These are a fundamental part of the programme and will enable you to understand the programme your child is learning, as well as strengthening your own faith.
It is vital that both children and their parents journey together on this programme. You are the first and most important teachers of your children in the faith. Both your children and their catechists will rely on your help and support throughout the months of preparation.
The children will celebrate First Reconciliation (Confession) in February. As parents, you will be encouraged to make an act of reconciliation at the same time and lead the children by example. The parental programme will help you prepare for this act of reconciliation, as well as enable you to answer your children’s questions about the sacrament.
To assist your child during their preparation, we ask that you:
– Attend the parents’ meetings in the programme
– Support your child’s learning at home
– Pray often with your child
– Bring your child to Mass on Sundays
– Encourage them to attend the Childrens Liturgy of the Word at 11 a.m. Mass.
Clearly attending Mass on Sunday is an essential part of showing your child how important this time is for them and for the Catholic community. In order for them to understand that First Holy Communion is a key part of their Christian journey, it is crucial that they attend Mass regularly. On the other hand it is necessary to take great care that the children present at Mass do not feel neglected because of their inability to participate or to understand what happens and what is proclaimed in the celebration. For this reason on some Sundays during their preparation year the First Holy Communion Children are invited to celebrate their own for Liturgy of the Word at the 11 a.m. Mass in a way they can understand.
Do, please, do your best to ensure that your child attends these sessions, which are an integral part of the First Holy Communion Preparation programme. The priest at the beginning of Mass will send out the children and their catechists for their own Liturgy of the Word. The children rejoin the congregation for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. They arrive back as the congregation is finishing their prayers of intercession.
To help us celebrate the First Holy Communion Mass as prayerfully and beautifully as possible please note that the use by individuals of videos/cameras/flash and recording equipment of any kind is not permitted at any stage during the Mass The Parish understands that it is important for families to have photographs of this occasion and for this reason it permits one official photographer commissioned by the church to take pictures from an unobtrusive position during the celebration of the Mass.
At the end the photographer will take group photographs of the children and will be able to take other pictures of children and family groups. Individuals are very welcome to take photographs at the end of the Mass. If parents so wish one official viodeographer is permitted to film the Mass. The videographer will provide copies of the CD of the Mass for those who so wish.
Each family is asked to give £20 towards the cost of the books that the children will be using (“God’s Greatest Gift”). Please include this payment with your application form. Cheques may be made payable to ‘St Anselm’s Church, Southall’. If you are not able to make this contribution please simply ignore this request.
We are very fortunate to have a willing and experienced team of catechists from across the parish running the programme. Their job is to help the children to understand what we do and receive in celebrating the sacraments as well as to make the children’s sessions as accessible and enjoyable as possible.
With every best wish.
Father Gerard Mitchell, S.J.