First Holy Communion
Our parish celebrates the sacrament of First Holy Communion in May of each year. Children from Sacred Heart School and from many other schools in the area receive the sacrament. Our First Holy Communion masses are always wonderful celebrations of our faith with the church full of family, friends and parishioners.
We take names for First Holy Communion in September and preparation meetings begin in October. Children need to be in school year 3 or above to receive the sacrament. Our preparation meetings take place once a month on a Sunday morning from 10.15am – 11.15am and we then attend the Sunday mass in the church where the children take an active role in the mass. All of the sacraments are a gift from God and it is therefore of utmost importance that we prepare fully. We ask families to ensure that their children attend these meetings
First Holy Communion preparation is not just about the children receiving the sacrament but the whole family using this important time to grow closer to God together. For this reason, we ask parents to attend a meeting at the same time as the children. This is an opportunity to find out more about the children’s learning, to get to know other families from the parish and to reflect on our own faith in an honest, open and friendly environment. This hopefully gives us the spiritual fulfilment and the information that we need to support our children in their journey towards the sacrament.
To help in our preparation, we use a programme called ‘God’s Greatest Gift’ which takes us through the many gifts that we receive from God. These include;
- The gift of Creation
- A very special gift
- The gift of Baptism
- The gift of God’s Word
- The gift of friendship
- The gift of forgiveness
At the end of the programme, we discuss ‘The Greatest Gift’, that of Christ Himself in the Eucharist. We end by discussing the gift that we can give to God.
Preparation for First Holy Communion ends with a reconciliation service where the children receive the sacrament of their first reconciliation. This usually takes place on a Saturday morning the week before the First Holy Communion celebration mass.
Adult Baptism and Reception into the Church
For adults who have not been baptised or for anyone who would like to become a Catholic and be received into the Church please make an appointment to speak to one of the parish clergy. There will then follow a time of preparation, with a Catechist and a sponsor.
The sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated in our parish once every two years, usually early in June. Our Confirmation celebrations are always joyous occasions with the church full to overflowing with young people, their families and friends and with parishioners who want to share this special sacrament with them. We usually have around 30-40 young people being confirmed at these celebrations!
The sacrament of Confirmation is sometimes referred to as the sacrament of adulthood, it can be considered to be a sort of spiritual growing up where we are blessed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and our faith is deepened and strengthened. For this reason, it is important that young people make their own decision about whether they are ready to receive this sacrament. Young people wishing to receive the sacrament must be in school year 8 or above.
In order to be spiritually ready to receive the sacrament of Confirmation, all candidates are expected to attend monthly meetings from the October of the previous year until the Confirmation Mass. These meetings are 90 minutes long and are run in the evenings from 7pm – 8.30pm. We try to make sure that our meetings are fun, informative and prayerful.
Some of the topics covered in our meetings are:
- Knowing our parish
- Understanding and engaging with the bible
- Catholic Social Teaching
- The gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit
- Prayer and reconciliation
The topics of prayer and reconciliation are explored during a retreat day towards the end of our journey towards the sacrament of Confirmation.
Alternative arrangements for adults wishing to receive the sacrament of Confirmation can be arranged.
Our final meeting is always an opportunity to take part in a reconciliation service so that we are truly ready for our special day. This meeting is also a time for us to find out more about the Confirmation mass itself.
Should you wish to receive this sacrament, please contact the parish office for further information.