Reflection: Preparing for First Communion
This past Sunday at SCORE we played the “cliff notes” version of Mass. Stepping back in time….. How many of us, as young children, played Mass with our siblings? I recall the times when I rounded up my sisters and we went into our bedroom, cleared and set a little table, used unlit candles and Necco wafers, and played Mass. We also learned the importance of taking turns being priest and altar servers. As I drew closer to my First Communion, I remember my mom telling me how much Jesus loved me and that Jesus wanted to come into my heart and be with me forever. These memories have remained with me for more than 50 years. What memories will our children hold in their hearts of their preparation for First Communion? As we draw closer to their special day, what memories do you hope they carry throughout the rest of their lives?
Sunday’s SCORE class we met in the chapel of Oldershaw Hall. This was a perfect setting for learning more about the Mass. My only complaint, we ran out of time. While we were together, the children eagerly volunteered to play roles of priests, altar server, lectors, and Eucharistic Ministers. Their eagerness to participate in the various roles of Liturgy illustrated that being at Mass is more than just showing up. Our lively discussion revealed an understanding of being part of the assembly and actively participating by praying, listening and signing. How do we, as parents and catechists, continue to foster their enthusiasm to participate and learn more about the Mass? How do we continue to nurture the life of God’s Spirit stirring in the hearts and minds of our children?
Sunday SCORE lent itself for the children to ask questions and share observations. There were many teachable moments. One in particular stood out, the children knew that the bread we were using for class was ordinary bread. This is one indicator of their readiness to receive Eucharist. I also know that during the retreat (April 13) the children will practice again with Sr. Christina, and there will be several more times during SCORE. For this past Sunday, thanks to Violette, our junior catechist, and John and Jon-Paul, dads of Siona and Vivian for helping the children position their little hands to receive bread.
The week, take time to practice with your child the following:
- Liturgy of the Word – Prior to proclaiming the Gospel, we trace a cross on our foreheads, lips, and hearts. We pray that God’s Word will be in our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts.
- Liturgy of the Eucharist – showing your child how to position his/her hands to receive Eucharist. Remind them, how we cup our hands [like a little basket or a little throne] to welcome and receive Jesus.
- I hope you find the booklets, First Communion, preparing our children for the Sacrament of the Eucharist, helpful with getting your child ready for First Communion.
One last note, children will be receiving materials this Sunday (3/17) to make their banners.