First Holy Communion

Expectations of the Parish Church Community

First Holy Communion is a wonderful moment in a child’s life and represents a sign of growth in the knowledge and love of God for each and every child. Parents who bring their child or children for First Holy Communion are fulfilling the vow they made publicly at their child’s baptism some years before to be the “first and best teachers of their child in the ways of faith”. Now they are more actively fulfilling this vow.

IMG_0957The celebration of First Holy Communion each year is primarily a Parish Community Celebration. There is great expectation that the family are full practising members of the community and that they regularly come to Mass.

On this understanding, the parish will provide all the necessary help to parents and children, particularly those children not attending Catholic schools. The support from parents for this and other elements of the course cannot be emphasised enough.

To this end, parents will be expected to attend a number of meetings during the year. Parents must ensure that they and their children attend punctually all the preparations classes, which take place at SS Joseph & Swithun’s Parish.

No child will be denied First Holy Communion; however, children who miss two or at most three sessions will have missed key catechesis. In such cases and after discussion with catechists and parents, the parish priest may remove a child from the course and invite parents to reapply for the following year. Sports events, parties and other such competing attractions must come second to First Holy Communion preparation and the regular attendance of Mass during the First Holy Communion year. 

Attendance at preparation course

We want your child to enjoy this preparation time and ask you to look on it as an opportunity for your family, to grow in faith and in your knowledge and love of God, together.

Each child must be accompanied by a parent or grandparent, and not a friend of the family. It is important that families attend all sessions. You and your child are asked to plan ahead to ensure that this happens.

If your child is unwell or there is a valid reason why you cannot attend, please let your catechist know. You will be provided with your child’s resources, and asked to complete the preparation work at home.

For child protection purposes, a register will be taken at each session and if your child misses two sessions in a term, you will be asked to contact Fr Peter to discuss this.

Sessions will begin on time. We ask everyone to be punctual for all sessions. If you arrive late, you not only disrupt the class but you miss a vital part of the course.

All the resources you and your child need will be provided. It is essential that each family brings their Bible, folder, pencils and prayer book to every session and that you encourage your child to use their Little Missal during Mass.

Please support the catechists as much as possible; they give their time freely to support you and your children and this preparation course cannot be provided without their time and effort. Kindly remember that on Sundays we are guests at Holy Trinity Convent and should treat the convent and the grounds with respect.

All follow-up activities should be completed at home. This is a vital part of the process – giving you and your child an opportunity for quiet time together with each other and with God.

For any further guidance or help, please contact your catechist or speak to them at the end of your weekly sessions.

Your role as parents

First Holy Communion is a special time when your children are welcomed into the body of the Church and begin to take a more active part in the community.

The parish recognises that you are the primary educators of your children in their faith and it is our sincere desire to work alongside you and your child to prepare for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, which are important steps in the life of your child.

As parent, you have the most important role in the preparation process, which is primarily to:

  • Accompany your Child to Mass
  • Pray for and with Your Child
  • Witness to your Faith by Family Lifestyle and Conversation
  • Attend the Diarised Catechetical Sessions with them

Your support and encouragement during the process is vital to the Catechists and to your child’s faith development. Sports events, parties and other such competing attractions must come second to First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion Preparation.