Catechesis to Reflect the Goal of Eucharistic Communion
In teaching, discussion, and publications regarding First Holy Communion, it must always be clear that the candidates are, by baptism, already members of the Body of Christ and living in communion with the Lord. They are to be welcomed into full Eucharistic sharing, participating for the first time in the holy meal of the Lord’s Body and Blood.
This will not be their first time to “meet Jesus” but rather it opens up to them a new, tangible, and wonderful way to encounter him truly present under the form of food and drink.
To be admitted to First Communion, children “must have sufficient knowledge...to understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity,” so they “can receive the Body of the Lord with faith and devotion”
Children with physical or learning disabilities and those who are behaviorally disturbed are to be presented for Eucharistic communion along with their age peers, seeking a degree of understanding appropriate to their individual condition.
Parent’s responsibility. It is the responsibility, in the first place, of parents to lead their children to Eucharistic communion with appropriate preparation. Parents should bring their children regularly to celebration of Sunday Mass in order to introduce them to the Eucharistic celebration. This is so for two reasons:
- First Communion indicates that children are being integrated into the Church’s Eucharistic life. They must, therefore become familiar with this life in a concrete way.
- The liturgical Year “unfolds the entire mystery of Christ” and “completes the formation of the faithful” (General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, no. 1). Understanding the “mystery of Christ” is required for admission to Holy Communion (CJC 913); celebration of the seasons and feasts of the liturgical year is a primary means for gaining such understanding.
Catechists should take care that their teaching is:
- filled with the spirit of the Gospel;
- adapted to the signs and cycles of the liturgical year;
- suited to the needs of the candidates;
- thoroughly grounded in Catholic doctrine.
Candidates for First Communion are to be led to “full, conscious, and active participation” in the Liturgy of the Eucharist according to the principles of the Directory for Masses With Children.
SPECIFIC SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION OF STUDENTS
We come to the table of the Eucharist where we eat the Body and drink the Blood of Jesus. We learn how to live through the Word of God. We learn how to let the Sacrament which nourishes us nourish others and, through us, give life to the world.
REVIEW PREVIOUS UNDERSTANDINGS:
- Recall the Sacrament of Baptism as one of the Sacraments of Initiation.
- Recall the Blessed Trinity and name the three persons.
- We bless food in our families
- Jesus blessed food before He gave it to people
- At the Last Supper, Jesus changed bread and wine into His body and blood
- We call the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus the Eucharist
- The Mass is the most important prayer of the Catholic Church
- In celebrating the Mass, Jesus shows his care about the entire people of God • The Eucharist is our celebration of unity, reconciliation, and peace
- In the Liturgy of the Word, we hear the Gospel stories about Jesus
- In the Scriptures, Jesus teaches us that he is the Bread of Life (John 6)
- In the Liturgy of the Eucharist, we remember and give thanks for Jesus’ death and resurrection
- At Mass, Jesus is present in the Word of God and the Eucharist
- The bread and wine of the Eucharist are consecrated by the priest; through the power of the Holy Spirit, these gifts of bread and wine truly become the Body and Blood of Jesus
- The priest repeats Jesus’ words and actions in the Eucharistic prayer
- The Mass commemorates Jesus’ sacrifice
- The Eucharist is both meal and sacrifice
- At Mass, we remember the Last Supper; we share the Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion
- Jesus gives Himself to us as food at every Mass
- We receive Jesus so that we can become more like Jesus
- We should receive Communion often and must receive Communion worthily
- Jesus is truly present in the Blessed
- The parts of the Mass are:
- the gathering in which we come together to pray as one family
- the readings through which we listen to God’s Word
- the presentation and preparation of the gifts in which we get ready to thank God and offer ourselves with Jesus to the Father
- the Eucharistic Prayer which, at the consecration the bread and wine, become the Body and Blood of Jesus
- the reception of Communion in which we receive Jesus
- the dismissal in which we are blessed to go out and help others
- Our Church celebrates advent, Christmas, lent, holy week, Easter and special holy days and honors Mary, the Mother of God and saints
- Understand that it is important to participate in the Eucharistic liturgy with our family.
- Realize that God’s family, the Church, consists of people of various abilities and cultures.
- Participate in the singing, responses, and listening with the parish community at Sunday liturgies each week.
- If a child misses more than 3 classes (sickness not included), they will forfeit their right to celebrate their FHC for the current year.
- Participate in parish worship and social activities for liturgical seasons and feasts.
- Pray the following prayers: The Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Prayer after Communion, Prayers and responses of the Mass.
- Participate in gestures and postures for the various parts of the Liturgy.
- Understand the different ways to receive Communion.
- Visit the church to discover the meaning of the different areas and objects used at Mass.
- Experience spontaneous prayer.
- Understand the Bible as God’s Word.
- Understand the role of the laity, religious, and priests as one of service.
- Understand that God is present to us through every person and “thing” (creation).
- Become aware that God calls us to be responsible for others, especially people in need.
- Understand that we are sent forth to love and serve the Lord, using the gifts and talents God gave us.
- Become aware that we can nourish others by being kind and helping as Jesus did.
- As Jesus gives himself to us in Eucharist, we are called to serve others.
SCRIPTURE FOR YOUR REFERENCE
Mt. 14: 13-21 Multiplication of Loaves and Fish ; Mt. 6:30-44 Multiplication of Loaves and Fish ; Lk. 9:10-17 Multiplication of Loaves and Fish; Jn. 6:1-15 Multiplication of Loaves and Fish; Jn. 17:1-26 The Last Supper; Mt. 26:20-30 The Last Supper
Mk. 14:22-26 The Last Supper; Lk. 24:13-35 The Emmaus Story
Mt. 6:9-13 The Lord's Prayer ; Jn. 21:1-14 Jesus at the Seashore
Acts 2:42-47 Community Sharing All Things in Common
STUDENTS SHOULD BE FAMILIAR WITH THE FOLLOWING TERMS
Advent, all saints, altar, baptism, Bible, Blessed Sacrament, Blessed Trinity, Blood of Christ, Body of Christ, bread, Catholic, chalice, Christ, Christian, consecrate, creed, Christmas, communion, ciborium, Easter, Eucharist, faith, fasting, genuflection, Good Friday, grace, Holy Thursday, holy week, host, instituted, Jesus, Last Supper, Lent, Lord’s day, Mass, ordinary time, parish, paten, Pentecost, petition, pope, praise, prayer, priest, psalm, resurrection, sacrament of Eucharist, sacrifice, saint, Son of God, stole, tabernacle, thanksgiving, Trinity, vestments
PRAYERS, Sign of the Cross, Hail Mary, Responses of the Mass, Our Father, Glory Be, Act of Contrition
One possible act of contrition:
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His Name. May God have mercy.