“At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.
The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life. We Catholics believe that, in the Eucharist, bread and wine are changed by God into the Body and Blood of Christ. We receive the real Body of Christ in Holy Communion, together with His soul and divinity.
The parish Sacramental Programme in preparation for First Holy Communion is geared to children in Year 3 in Primary School (though older children who have missed the programme when they were in Year 3 are still welcome to join). This First Communion programme, (which will also bring the children to the Sacrament of First Reconciliation), begins 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 at the sessions and 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?
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