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Elements of the preparation for the sacramental celebration of Reconciliation and Eucharist

As a child grows within a family, the Church assumes that the child is also growing in faith within the context of an active relationship with the local parish. This relationship is most importantly celebrated in weekly mass. Participation in weekly liturgy provides your child with the experience that they are part of a larger family connected to and devoted to the praise of God in everyday life. Archdiocesan guidelines expect that children prepare for and receive sacraments at the parish where they attend weekly liturgy. If for some reason you are not a family that participates in the weekly celebration of mass, as an integral part of your faith life, now is the time to start.

There is an important relationship between the celebration of weekly liturgy and the attendance at religious education class. The celebration of Eucharist provides an experience that fosters questions about the meaning of our faith. According to the Catechism of the Catholic faith, this lived experience of liturgy is “the source and summit of our faith.”(CCC 1324) In addition to parental formation, religious education is the place where the weekly experience of liturgy is explained and understood in relationship to the rest of our lives.

The Archbishop expects that parents are updated about sacraments as their child comes to this preparation. This year we are implementing a process where parent and child learn together. In this way the Church is not separating or asking you to be away from your family. Instead, bring the family with you! Attendance at the five large group gatherings is designed to provide your family with an active way to grow together in the celebration of Reconciliation and Eucharist. It is a time for family activities, prayer, music, fun and festivity. We hope this will be a positive enhancement for the sacramental process.

Basic Knowledge about the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist is essential for each child to articulate his or her faith. This knowledge is passed on first by the parents as they consciously present to their children an understanding and appreciation for the sacramental structure of the Catholic faith. This knowledge is further developed by the child’s catechist each week in specific lessons that are designed to enrich the basic education begun at home by parents.

Traditional Catholic prayers are considered very important as they are the language used to help the child communicate faith while giving the child a structure for communication with God. It is true that people can pray without memorization. However, in times of difficulty, it is not always easy to pray. Committing these prayers to memory early in life provide the child a foundation from which other forms of prayer will flow.



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