Preparing your child for the Sacraments
Part of growing in our faith is receiving the Sacraments. As parents, you may remember preparing for the sacraments of Confession, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation at school or in a parish group. The celebration of the Sacraments are joyful occasions because each time we receive a Sacrament we respond in a much deeper way to Jesus' call to discipleship.
The Sacraments are important for each of us. In order to receive these wonderful gifts we have to spend some time in preparation. The parish of St Mary and St Modwen offers a number of ways that children are able to be helped in preparing to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Communion and Confirmation.
Preparing children to receive the Sacraments always offers us the opportunity to deepen our own faith and commitment to the Lord.
The first Sacrament that we all receive is the Sacrament of Baptism. Through Baptism we are initiated into the life of the Church. If you would like your child Baptised (baby or young child) please contact one of the priests who will guide you through the preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism.
As part of the preparation for First Holy Communion, every young person will learn about God's forgiveness. The Sacrament of Reconciliation, sometimes called Confession, is important for our life of faith. Children attending St Modwen's School will learn about Reconciliation as part of their First Holy Communion preparation in Year 3. Children who do not attend St Modwen's or a Catholic school will be invited to attend a class on Saturday mornings where they will be prepared for this Sacrament. Once the children have been prepared, they will make their confession with the priests at special penance service one Saturday Morning.
First Holy Communion
Once your child has reached the year he or she will turn seven, they are able to begin to prepare for their First Holy Communion. This is when they will receive Jesus, who gives us His Body and Blood, for the very first time. At St Modwen's School, they will begin preparing for this once they begin Year 3. If your child does not attend a Catholic school, they will be invited to join a class on Saturday mornings.
This is the last of the Sacraments of Initiation. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit we are 'confirmed' in our faith and ready to be Jesus' disciples in the world. In the year that your child turns 11 (begins year 6) they are able to make the decision to prepare for Confirmation. At St Modwen's School this preparation will take place as part of the RE Curriculum. For children not at Catholic schools, there is a Saturday class. A bishop is invited to the parish to administer the Sacrament.
Parents' Role in Preparation
As parents, it is important to remember that you are the first and best educators to your children in the way of faith. The best way to prepare your children for receiving any of the Sacraments is to show them how to live out our faith. Teaching children how to pray and praying with them (before meals, in the morning and at night). Coming to Sunday Mass and on Holy Days of Obligation are also really important so that we be supported by the Lord in living out our Christian life.
If your child or children are attending St Modwen's School you will be informed when sacramental preparation for Reconciliation and First Holy Communion will take place at the beginning of the September term in Year 3. Information about the Sacrament of Confirmation will be sent home with Year 6 children at the beginning of the September term. For both First Holy Communion and Confirmation, parents will be expected to attend some 'Parent's Sessions' hosted at St Modwen's School.
Children not Catholic Schools
To enrol your child or children onto the Saturday Classes that are on offer for Reconciliation and First Holy Communion or Confirmation please see the weekly newsletter in early September to find out how obtain an application form. For children making Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, they must be entering Year 3 or older. For Confirmation, the must be entering Year 6 or older.
The Parish of St Mary and Modwen is dedicated to promoting and ensuring the protection of all children and young people. We work closely with the Archdiocese of Birmingham, which works within the national guidelines, to ensure that adults who have regular contact with children and youth have the relevant checks and are approved for their roles and trained in maintaining a safe environment within our parish. For more information, please visit our Archdiocesan Website:www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk