Do This in Memory: A Parish Preparation Programme for First Eucharist PARISH OF ST AIDAN S CATHEDRAL 2013/2014

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1 Do This in Memory: A Parish Preparation Programme for First Eucharist PARISH OF ST AIDAN S CATHEDRAL 2013/2014 Parents Meeting: Tuesday 30 th Sept Opening Prayer: Loving God, We call to mind the children who will prepare for First Eucharist during the coming year and all who care for them. We ask your blessing on all of them and on all of us gathered here. May we always walk as children of the light and be prepared to share that light with those whom we meet. PURPOSE OF PROGRAMME The programme is designed to facilitate the active involvement of parents, parish leaders and the wider parish community in the preparation for First Eucharist. WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? FAITH GIVES LIFE AND GIVES US A FOUNDATION ON WHICH TO BUILD OUR WHOLE LIVES! Here is a chance for parents to make your faith alive in a way that goes hand in hand with your child This is a chance for all of us to reconnect with the gift of our own faith. That we want faith for our children: a personal, living relationship with God. Jesus wants to give himself to these kids. Having faith is not a burden!.

2 FR RAGHEED GANNI: Murdered for the Faith in Mosul, Iraq on 7 th June For us Christians in Iraq, the terrorists take life but the Eucharist gives it back. At times I wake up filled with fear but when I celebrate Mass and hold the host at the altar I know that it is not I who am holding him. It is he who is holding me. FOUR CORNERSTONES 1. The sacramental preparation of children is the responsibility of the home, school and parish working together in partnership. 2. The work of sacramental preparation begins long before the First Eucharist Celebration. 3. The celebration of First Eucharist is a sacred and important moment on a long journey of faith development. Together with Baptism and Confirmation, it opens the door to full membership of the Christian community. It is not an end in itself. 4. The sacramental preparation of our children must always be seen as one element of the broader task of whole community catechesis. Our experience tells us that the faith of children is best nourished when home, school and parish work together in partnership. Firstly and most importantly, children learn about faith in the home. Their faith is supported in school by the hard work of teachers and chaplains, and by both priests and people in the wider parish community. (Nurturing our Children s Faith, 2006) Outline of Programme Nine Sundays, 9.30 am Eight prior to First Eucharist One after the celebration:

3 Dates: 30 th Sept. 2014: Parents Meeting for First Communion, St Aidan s School, 7.30pm 19 th October 2014: Enrolment Mass: 28 th Sunday Ordinary Time 23 rd November 2014: Feast Day of Christ the King 21 st December 2014: 4 th Sunday of Advent 18 th January 2015: 2 nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 15 th February 2015: 6 th Sunday of Ordinary Time 1 st March 2015: 2 nd Sunday of Lent Thursday 26 th March 2015, 7.30pm: First Confession and Parish Reconciliation Service. 29 th March 2015: Palm Sunday 26 th April 2015: 4 th Sunday of Easter Saturday 23 rd May 2015: First Holy Communion ENROLMENT SUNDAY (19 th October 2014) Parents and children are Presented to the community Invited to promise to participate in the programme Asked to renew their baptismal promises with the parish community Presented with a candle for use in family prayer Masses with Children How do we help children become more familiar with the Mass and encourage them to participate more fully in it? Participation not Performance! Guidelines for the Masses on Do This in Memory Sundays

4 Each Sunday of the Programme Children sit with their parents Readings from Children s Book of Readings The children may be invited to the ambo to listen to the Gospel Homily directed to the children Presentation of the Gifts Blessing of the children at Communion time Appropriate Music On some Sundays of the Programme Entrance Procession Invitation to the children to come and stand around the altar for the Eucharistic Prayer Invitation to lead the Our Father Dismissal Rite and Procession THUMB Resource for use at home and at Mass Grapevine Promises for Enrolment Mass Explanation of the various elements of the Mass The Rite of the Mass: The Missal Activity Sheets: KIDSTUFF Each month the parents will receive a copy of Grapevine after Mass. The Newsletter will include the following: Thought for the Month

5 Let s Pray Together Something to Reflect on Gospel Reading for the following month Family Prayer Space Saints, Holy Days and Catholic Traditions Mass Responses and do we sit, stand or kneel? Things to Remember EACH PARISH WILL NEED A group of volunteer parents who will Meet once a month to plan for the next Sunday of the Programme. Work of Programme Planning Group Maintain ongoing contact with parents Invite volunteer parents to receive, light and return the candles to children each Sunday Organise parents and children to present the gifts of bread and wine each Sunday Compose the Prayer of the Faithful for each Sunday and invite a member of the parent body to read Organise volunteers to distribute the Grapevine at the end of Mass Liaise with choir and school Help plan the First Eucharist celebration

6 PARENTAL COMMITMENT To be at Mass regularly with your child and particularly on the Sundays of the programme To pray with them at home To enhance your participation in the programme and deepen your own understanding of the Mass by reading THUMB and the Grapevine Newsletter with your child To reflect seriously about the celebration of this sacrament God our Father, We ask you blessing upon us as we gather this evening. We rejoice that we are blessed and called together to work in your name. We pray that we can respond generously to this opportunity to hand on our faith in your goodness to our children. Bless and protect them as they grow in faith and prepare for their First Holy Communion. May they grow in love for you and the parish of St Aidan s to which they belong. May the sees be sown today of a love for the Eucharist that will bear fruit throughout their lives. Glory be to the Father. ST AIDAN PRAY FOR US

7 PARENTS COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS Name Address Mobile Number

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