“During the meal Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to His disciples. ‘Take this and eat it,’ He said, ‘this is my body.’ Then He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them. ‘All of you must drink from it,’ He said. ‘for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, to be poured out in behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” [Matthew 26:26-28]
At the Eucharistic table, the community celebrates in unity with Christ, All life and activity of the parish community leads to and flows from the celebration of the Eucharist. In receiving this Sacrament, the child is enabled to fully participate in the liturgy. Parent(s)/guardians are required to commit themselves to participate with their child in the parish program of preparation. They have a co-responsibility to prepare their children for the Sacrament. Parent(s)/guardians are also required to participate in a minimum of eight hours of instruction in preparation for their important role as co-educators of their children and attend liturgical celebrations together regularly as part of that responsibility.
The child must be an active participant in the Christian Formation Program or at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. All those who have prepared for First Eucharist during that year, will participate in a special celebration at a specific liturgy. Periodically we are asked to clarify appropriate dress. First Eucharist is a very special time in anyone’s life – it should be special not just the first time but every time. Please remember:
- A child can easily be distracted by non-essentials such as dress – the important thing is not what they wear but who they are and the relationship with Jesus. Playing “dress up” in an outfit that is costume oriented may indeed place emphasis on the least important aspect of First Eucharist.
- Vatican II asks us to return to what was essential and true to our roots – the Council asks that we simplify our liturgies and rites so that the true theology was obvious and so that the symbols we used were authentic. Sacraments flow from and create community. For this reason, it is felt that the Sacrament should be received within one’s own parish. Other situations are to be referred to the Pastor.
- The readiness of an individual to receive a sacrament will be determined by the individual, parents, the C.R.E. and Pastor, with recommendations from the teacher. The final decision, however, rests with the Pastor.