Information & Expectations for Registration of School-aged Children for First Communion & Confirmation
The standard practice that children in grade 2 are eligible to begin preparations to begin celebrating at the Table of the Lord. To begin the journey to the Table, the child must be registered at the Parish where the Family worships each week. Registrations generally take place during the month of September. A letter usually goes home with the children in the sacramental year, grade 2, during the first or second week of School. The Registration forms are only available at the Sunday masses which at present include Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm and Sunday morning at 9:00 am & 11:00 am. The forms are not available during the week. They must be completed, handed in and accompanied by a copy of the child's baptism in the Catholic Church.
A child attending a non-Catholic school will be expected to participate in a Catechism program to catch up on the religious formation that is provided through the Catholic Schools.
The children are in fact prepared to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation as well. The Church notes that the children must have the opportunity to celebrate Reconciliation before First Communion, so it makes for an action packed few months leading up to the actual First Communion during the Easter Season.
Children not baptised follow a different journey. They must participate in the "Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults adapted for Children". They are prepared to be Initiated at the Easter Vigil and are baptized and welcomed to the Table for the first time in the same celebration. It is an extensive preparation with various public ceremonies leading them to the Bishop and finally the Initiation.
The standard age to prepare for the completion of the child's baptism is grade 7. Much has changed in our understanding of this Sacrament. Since it is intimately connected to Baptism, it is treated was the sealing of that event. Because the children are older and more mature, only compared to First Communion candidates, their formation is geared more to what we call 'spiritual discernment'. They are invited to deeper reflection on who they are and are becoming, as well as who their God is and what kind of life-long relationship they want with God. Through a series of small group discussions, retreats, weekly reflections on the Sunday Gospel that they hand in, and other activities, in conjunction with the Grade 7 & 8 CAtholic School curriculum, the work to complete their initation as full members of our Community, celebrated around the Pentecost Season.
The Registration forms are available only at Sunday Masses during the month of September. Our Sunday mass schedule includes Saturday afternoon at 4:30 pm, and Sunday morinng at 9:00 am & 11:00 am. For those our Catholic Schools, a letter is sent home in the first weeks of September. If you live in our Parish Boundaries and this is your Church or Worship each week, then the registration forms must be handed in by the last Sunday of September accompanied with a copy of the baptism from a Cathoic Church.
Children not registered in the Catholic School system will need to partipcate in a Catechism program to catch them up on the religious formation that is provided through the Catholic Schools.
Children not baptised follow a different journey. They must participated in the "Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults adapted for Children". They are prepared for full Initiation at the Easter Vigil where they will be baptised, confirmed and welcomed to the Table of the Lord.
The Primary Expectation is one that you as Parents signed on to at the baptism of your child. The Priest informs you that you have the responsibility of training your child in the practice of our faith. The hallmark sign of living the faith is weekly attendance at Mass. If this has not been the case, it might be a good thing to put some serious, prayerful thought into presenting your child for these sacraments. O it is time to seriously consider renewing your life in the Church. It is a terrible sign and lesson to the children to prepare to bring them to the Table of the Lord, and then ignore that practice. Their second communion should not be their Confirmation.
During the preparations, the child will be expected to be with the Community each week and to complete a reflection form that they hand in at the end of Mass. We provide the weekly forms for the candidates. Except for severe health concerns, the expectatioin is that the children will be at Mass each week to complete the forms, and if there are serious health issues, they can participate on line and then complete the forms at home and deliver them to the Church after.
The children will also be expected to participate in the workshops and retreats and various activities that are part of the journey.
Because the Church reminded the parents at the child's baptism that they are the first teachers of the children in the ways of the faith, we also provide Adult Faith Formation for the parents and it is expected that at least one Parent participates.