This year we have been blessed with preparing 88 children for Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, between January and the end of July 2017 in Corpus Christi Church, Boscombe. These children ranged in ages between 7 and 10 years old, and were from over 6 different primary schools.The communion celebrations were spread over 4 family masses, 3 in May and 1 in July.
The children spent the first half of their meetings preparing for reconciliation, followed by a family service of reconciliation. We concentrated on celebrating the love of a forgiving God, and reassured the children that God is always reaching out for us, and trying to bring us back to him.
The second half of the meetings focused on preparing for full participation in the Mass and Eucharist. We looked at the sections of the mass, and encouraged the children to think about how we are called to join and gather as a community, the Body of Christ, in the Introductory Rite, and that God speaks to us through the Liturgy of the Word. We then think about our offerings at the offertory and the words and actions of Jesus at the Last Supper, and how this is the Gift of Jesus; his love for us, nourishing and strengthening our faith. We conclude our meetings remembering that the reason we come to mass is in order that we can be ‘sent out’ to serve God and others.
We have been very appreciative of the help from parent helpers, as we all volunteers, with full time employment and families.
The children have had the opportunity to join the congregation of both the Saturday 6 pm vigil Mass and the 9.30 am Sunday Mass. They have participated in the offertory and bidding prayers at these masses. During their preparation they have also participated in group activities of prayer and meditation, and a church visit, familiarizing with areas of the church, and concentrating on reverence within Gods house. The groups who prepared for communion in May also explored the topics through role play, Taize singing, art activities and examining simple prayers. They were also able to participate in the Corpus Christi Procession on our Feast Day, and enjoyed a celebration afterwards.
It has been a great joy to share the gift of the Eucharist.