First Holy Communion
Receiving the Lord Jesus for the first time in First Holy Communion is a marvellous day in the life of every catholic.
Jesus comes to dwell more fully in your hearts and to strengthen you so that you can become the wonderful person God created you to be - full of kindness, hope and joy! The world of tomorrow will be built by our young people. If our future is to be good then Christian young people must get to know and receive Christ. As they prepare to receive first Holy Communion they should feel part of a believing community and learn that Jesus is truly with them in their lives and, in a special way, truly present with us when we gather at Sunday Mass.
At the Last Supper Jesus gave us the Eucharist – the sacrifice of his body and blood which he offered for us on the cross on Good Friday. Jesus himself is the new spiritual food, because the Eucharist is his body and blood made present under the appearances of bread and wine. He himself says in the Gospel: "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry; he who believes in me will never thirst" (Jn. 6:35).
Jesus gave the Eucharist to his Church which has celebrated it for over 2,000 years every day, especially on Sunday, when we receive Christ, are filled with grace and are given hope for future glory in heaven.
Do This in Memory A Parish Based Sacramental Programme for First Eucharist
Do This in Memory is a parish-based pre-sacramental programme designed to help children, parents and the parish community prepare for First Eucharist.
What is Do this in Memory?
Do This in Memory is a parish based programme of preparation for First Communion centred in the parish celebration of the Sunday Eucharist and in the home. The programme resources are designed to facilitate parents, families and the parishes’ active involvement in the preparation for the sacrament. It complements and supports the work of sacramental preparation in the parish school or the religious education programme in the parish. The programme takes place once a month for eight months before First Eucharist and concludes during the parish celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi.
THE COORDINATOR’S MANUAL
- Liturgical guidelines for each Sunday of the programme
- Homily notes
- Text of Sunday readings
- Post-Communion reflections
- Liturgical guidelines for the celebration of First Eucharist
- PowerPoint presentation and notes for the initial meeting with parents.
The following elements can also be found in the Coordinator’s Manual
Fr. Simons Top Ten Tips for Priests
These tips can be found in the Coordinator’s Manual. It is hoped that they will prove a useful resource for priests as they engage with Do This in Memory during the year.
INSERTS FOR PARISH NEWSLETTERS
As a way of connecting the wider parish community, and particularly other children, to the First Eucharist preparation there are a series of short inserts for Parish Newsletters entitled ‘Learning about the Mass with Kath and Qumen’. There are 36 of these short inserts which can be placed in the Parish Bulletin beginning on the weekend of Enrolment Sunday and continuing on a weekly basis until the programme is finished. The text of these can be found in Appendix 4 of the Coordinator’s Manual. This text is also on the CD-ROM that accompanies the manual. The files on the CD-ROM can be copied and pasted by the person who is responsible for producing the Parish Newsletter.
THUMB: THAT’S HIS/HER USEFUL MASS BOOK
This book provides material which helps parents and children engage with the programme before, during and after Mass.
THUMB contains the following:
An Introduction to Do This in Memory including a Guide for Parents that suggests ways they might use the programme most effectively
WHAT HAPPENS AT MASS?
• This exploration of the Mass is led by two cartoon characters, Kath and Qumen, who are also preparing for their First Eucharist. Through questions, observations and comments they help the children and their parents learn more about the Sunday Celebration.
THE RITE OF MASS:
This section contains all the prayers and responses of the Mass. It will help parents and children to participate more fully in the celebration of the Eucharist. This year the responses and prayers have changed to reflect the introduction of the New Roman Missal in September 2011.
The final section of THUMB contains nine activity sheets to be completed at home after each Sunday of the program.
There are eight Grapevine Newsletters which are distributed to the families preparing for First Eucharist after each Do This in Memory Mass. Together with THUMB; the Grapevine helps parents to engage more fully with the programme at home. It includes the text for the Gospel of the next Sunday of the programme, suggestions for family prayer and the creation of a Family Prayer Space.
Do This in Memory is published by Veritas and is available from www.veritas.ie
DATES OF THE SUNDAYS OF DO THIS IN MEMORY 2012–2013
Enrolment Sunday 2012 25th/26th/27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, 28 October 2012 30th Sunday in
Sunday, 25 November 2012 Feast of Christ King
Sunday, 16 December 2012 3rd Sunday of Advent
Sunday, 27 January 2013 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday, 24 February 2013 2nd Sunday in Lent
Sunday, 24 March 2013 Palm Sunday
Sunday, 14 April 2013 3rd Sunday of Easter
Sunday, 2 June 2013 Feast of Corpus Christi
Preparing for First Eucharist in the Primary School
The Alive-O progarmme and the Eucharist
Catechesis on the Eucharist is not confined to the specific lessons on the Eucharist. Throughout the year, the focus is on developing in the children attitudes which will help them to participate consciously in the celebration:
- an ability to work with symbol and to take part in ritual
- a sense of being with others
- a sense of coming together with others
- listening to the Word of God
- a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving
- a sense of the meaning of celebration
- an ability to reflect on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ
- a desire to be a follower of Jesus
- a sense of God's presence in sign and in sacrament
Term 3 of Alive-O 4 focuses on the following fundamental aspects of the Eucharist:
- the Christian community gathers together
- listening to the Word of God
- remembering Jesus’ love for us
- giving thanks
- celebrating the forgiveness of God our Father
- sharing in the Bread of Life
- going in peace to be like Jesus
The Christian community gathers together (Alive-O 4: Term 3, Lesson 2)
We come together to celebrate the Eucharist in response to Jesus’ invitation to ‘Do this in memory of me’. Sunday is our special day of celebration as the day on which the resurrection occurred. The story of the Passover is told in this lesson, building the foundation for the Eucharist.
Listening to the Word of God (Alive-O 4: Term 3, Lesson 3)
The children hear many scripture stories throughout the year. They learn that these stories inspire us to live as a Christian community as followers of Jesus. We hear the same stories when we come together to celebrate the Eucharist in the Liturgy of the Word.
Remembering Jesus’ love for us (Alive-O 4: Term 3, Lesson 4)
When we celebrate the Eucharist, we remember the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We offer ourselves to Him in the sacrifice of the Eucharist.
Giving thanks (Alive-O 4: Term 3, Lesson 5)
The Eucharist is a prayer of thanks, to God, for the sacrifice which Jesus made for us.
Celebrating the forgiveness of God our Father (Alive-O 4: Term 3, Lesson 5)
The Eucharist reconciles us with God. Opportunities to seek reconciliation occur in the penitential rite, the consecration, the Our Father and at the sign of peace.
Sharing in Jesus, Bread of Life (Alive-O 4: Term 3, Lesson 6)
Jesus shared a special meal with His friends at the Last Supper. It was a sign of friendship and love. Jesus makes Himself present and available to us in the form of bread and wine.
Going in peace to be like Jesus (Alive-O 4: Term 3, Lesson 7)
The Risen Jesus is present with us and in us as we leave the celebration of the Eucharist. We are sent out to ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord’ and to live our lives as Jesus asks us to.
There are lessons on the Eucharist in each year, which guide the children into a deeper understanding of the Eucharist in an age appropriate manner, and one which is progressively challenging. These lessons occur in the third term following the Easter story from Alive-O 5 onwards.