First Confession and First Holy Communion Cont'd..

The Future

It is worth noting the recent comments of Pope Francis on October 28, 2013, when he met with families from around the world, to celebrate the World Day of Families. He delivered the message that the sacraments were not to be viewed as 'decorations' or rites of passage. “The sacraments don’t just decorate life!” exclaimed the Holy Father. “They are to give us strength of life!”

Earlier in his homily of May 25th, on the Gospel reading from Mark 10, in which the disciples rebuked people who were bringing children to Jesus, the Holy Father recalled the occasion when he was coming out of the city of Salta, on the patronal feast. His entourage encountered a humble lady who asked for a priest's blessing. Despite the fact that she had attended Mass, she had another necessity: the need to be touched by the Lord: the 'words' that she had heard in the mass, had not registered with her. It reminds me of my own daughter, who made her First Confession, in her school classroom, in 1994. The little girl was very upset, because she felt she hadn't received the sacrament. To that innocent child, she felt the need to be touched by God's forgiveness, in the confessional box, in the church, before the priest.

During one of his Regina Coeli addresses, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said adults should bring reverence and love to the task of preparing children to receive their first Holy Communion. “Dear friends," he said, "the Church at Easter time usually administers First Holy Communion to children. I therefore urge the pastors, parents and catechists to prepare this feast of faith well, with great fervor, but also with sobriety.”

No policy ends with preparation, or even implementation. It must be constantly reviewed and renewed; kept alive, like the natural progression of faith towards the next important step. After First Communion, young Catholics must attend church every Sunday, and they are encouraged to receive confession and communion frequently, even weekly.

This month of March we pray

That the emphasis for sacramental preparation is placed on the spiritual significance of the sacrament.

That the sacraments are not to be viewed as 'decorations' or rites of passage. “They are to give us strength of life.

That children receiving the Sacraments will recognise Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist and will walk with Him the rest of their lives.

For all who prepare children for the Sacraments, that God may bless them for their good work.

 

 

References

02. Feb, 2012

Catholic Communications Office statement on the importance of the faith significance of the celebration of the Sacraments

A shilling in old Irish money was worth 12 pennies then; or 5 cents today.

A florin in old Irish money was a two-shilling piece; or 10 cents today.

A half-crown was worth two shillings and six pennies; or 12 1/2 cents today.

First Communion and First Reconciliation Diocesan Policy, Archdiocese of Dublin

The Journal.ie - Poll, Is 713 euro too much to spend on your child's First Communion Day?

Examiner.com

CNA News

VASSAFFOMALTA ,CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS