Communion and confirmation days are very important milestones in a young person’s life. They are two special and defining occasions which take place during primary school when young Roman Catholic children celebrate their religion. These days create memories that live on forever - memories of a wonderfully innocent time in your life.
Communion comes first in the child’s life, usually in second class, and the word itself is a colloquial name for a person’s first reception of the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Catholics believe this event to be very important, as the Eucharist is one of the central focuses of the Catholic Church.
A lot of preparation for Holy Communion takes place in school, and the months preceding the big event are filled with church practices, choir singing rehearsals, arts and crafts to decorate the church, reading more and learning about the Catholic faith, and the purpose of celebrating Communion. It is a time when young children grow together in many ways through their religion, learning, having fun and preparing for their day.
But many parishes also run a preparatory programme for children preparing for First Communion called ‘Do This in Memory’. This usually takes place once a month at a particular Mass where the children preparing for First Communion are invited to sit together and the priest explains the readings to the children. There are a number of books available to Parents to assist in preparing your child for the Sacrament of the Eucharist such as ‘I Am Preparing for my First Confession.’ and ‘Called to His Supper - A Preparation for First Eucharist’.
Holy Communion is a Rite of Passage to Confirmation which is next up and which takes place normally in sixth class.
Preparation for Confirmation emphasises the graces that the Spirit brings. It is intended that those preparing for this Sacrament would be enabled to see the Spirit working in their own lives.
During the Confirmation ceremony the Bishop (or the priest representing him) anoints the children with chrism and says the words ‘Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit’. At Confirmation children traditionally make a promise to abstain from alcohol/drugs for a given time. A Confirmation name is also selected and traditionally this was a saint’s name. The websites www.actapublications.com or www.catholic.org are helpful in finding saint’s names and useful facts about saints.
Communion and confirmation days are wonderful family celebrations and when the formal part is complete then the day is open to be spent together, often for a meal at a restaurant or at home, for a special excursion to the zoo, the seaside, or somewhere for the whole family to enjoy together. They are memory-making days that stay with you forever - as well as the (sometimes embarrassing) photos!
Hopefully this communion and confirmation feature will help you and your child have a memorable day - so be sure to check out local shops for all the best deals on dresses or suits for your little ones, as well as new shoes if needed. Local restaurants and caterers can provide delicious food after for your celebration and local photographers can capture the best parts of the day for you to have forever.