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
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
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.