Lenten Practices and preparing children for first communion

This week marked the beginning of Lent. We’re quite familiar with the routine, 40 days of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. On Ash Wednesday, our foreheads were signed with the cross, that powdery residue from burnt palms. Lent is one of my favorite liturgical seasons; it’s that time of year when I need to shake off the doldrums of winter. The days are cold, cloudy, and dreary; however, Lent reminds me that hope, promise and renewed life are on the rebound. I need to be attentive, alert to these signs of life.

Lent 2015, I pause to reflect upon God’s grace stirring within the process as we prepare our children for their first experience of Eucharist. I experience God’s grace within our children as they enthusiastically participate in prayer and class activities. God’s grace animates through you in conversations which express your  desire to create the time and space to help your child prepare for first communion.

This Lent, my goal is to continue to cultivate among our children, and all of us an appreciation and love of Eucharist, especially through our participation at Sunday Mass, or at the Saturday evening Mass. Tomorrow in class, we begin the process of learning the Mass. Each week we will focus on one of the four parts of the Mass. A little refresher: The Gathering Rite, The Liturgy of the Word, The Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the Rite of Sending. There will be a variety of activities to help our children grow in their understanding of how to participate in the Mass.

My hope, that during this Lenten Season we take time to deepen our awareness of how Eucharist informs and shapes our daily lives. Eucharist, means thanksgiving. We are thankful to God who became human, so that we could experience God’s divinity. We are thankful that we are not alone, that God walks with us. We are thankful for the Real Presence of Jesus, the Christ in Bread and Wine, and in the worshiping Community.  We are thankful that we are the Body of Christ, we are nourished by our relationships as we live live Jesus’ Gospel (Good News)  in our neighborhoods, our workplaces and in our homes. We are marked with the sign of the Cross, to remind us that we too are transformed and renewed by the many crosses we carry.  May we be attentive and alert to the signs of new life unfolding within and among us.

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