First Holy Communion Preparation
The process of First Holy Communion Preparation at St. John Paul II is focused on equipping the parents as primary educators and evangelists for their children.
For this reason, the bulk of the sessions are for parents only.
Preparation at St. John Paul II normally lasts one year,
beginning in 2nd grade (or when the child is ready).
Pray for your children every day.
Pray with your children at least once per day.
Attend Mass weekly as a family.
Begin going to Confession once a month.
Talk about your faith with your children.
Attend Monthly Parent Sessions and Virtual Family Check-ins.
Engage with the Home Formation Assignments.
Attend a Parent Retreat (Dates TBD).
All parents of children registered for Sacrament Preparation will attend a one-time retreat. This retreat is meant to be a gift to you, where we can each reflect on our own faith and how it informs our vocation as parents and primary evangelists of our children. This retreat is an opportunity to briefly step away from our busy lives, and to grow closer to Christ, who continually calls us to follow him!
We will hopefully offer this retreat several times during the Spring of 2021, in order to accommodate schedules. Only one parent needs to attend at a time (although both are welcome!).
Monthly Parent Sessions
These sessions are for you. As you grow deeper in your faith through these sessions, we ask that you share that faith with your family, especially your child who is preparing to celebrate their First Reconciliation and receive Holy Communion for the first time.
The sessions will cover some of the basics of our faith, particularly in regards to the sacraments. But more than that, they will deal with the why of our faith. Why are these things important, and how are they relevant to our daily life as spouse, parents, and children of God?
We will give you tools, videos, and activities to use with your children during the month following our session. There will be additional expectations discussed at these sessions as we progress through the preparation process. We are here to help and support you as evangelists – please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions, concerns, or any other needs as you seek to live out your vocation!
Virtual Family Check-ins
Once a month, we will do a brief virtual check-in with your family (around 30 minutes). The purpose of these check-ins is to engage with you and your child more personally regarding the Faith, answer questions, and pray together. Scheduling these sessions will be done on an individual basis.
First Communion- What to Wear?
When someone is baptized they are clothed in a white garment, which symbolizes that they have “put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27) – they no longer suffer the nakedness caused by Original Sin but have now become a child of God.
Having become a child of God clothed with the white garment (also referred to as “the wedding garment” by the Church) the baptized child may now be admitted “to the marriage supper of the Lamb” to receive the food of the new life, the Body and Blood of Christ.
This white garment reappears many times in the course of one’s life in the Church: the white robes worn by the priest, deacon, and altar servers at Mass; the white dresses traditionally worn by girls celebrating their first holy communion; the white gown worn by the bride at a wedding; the white pall draped over a coffin at a funeral, etc.
What the children wear when receiving their first communion should recall this baptismal garment. The color white is especially significant – please emphasize this with your child when picking out something to wear. White represents holiness, purity, and the fact that we are called to be the “light of the world” – we wear white to remember that we have been clothed in Christ, and when people look at us they should see Him.
White dress shirt, with a tie and dress pants (any color) and nice shoes (no sneakers please).
A suit is optional.
White dress or blouse. The dress or blouse must cover the back and shoulders (you should wear a white sweater over the dress if it has spaghetti straps).
A veil is optional.