First Communion 2020
This year, we will continue last year's first communion program here at Our Lady of Lourdes.
The Archdiocese of Seattle requires that all sacramental preparation, including preparing for one's first communion, to happen in their parish. Our new first communion program embraces "family-led" catechesis. We know our families are busy, and bring with them a rich diversity of experiences. As our ritual for infant baptism says, parents and guardians are "the first and best of teachers" for their children. We utilize the "Blessed" First Reconciliation and First Communion programs from Dynamic Catholic.
When's the next parent and guardian training workshop?
September 10th, 7pm, in the church. More workshops will be scheduled as-needed, and parents may also schedule a one-on-one meeting with Sean to review the materials.
What does this program look like?
Parents and Guardians attend a training session. These can also happen by appointment. You’ll receive your student’s Reconciliation workbook and all you need to know about using it with your student.
Your family completes the workbook at your own pace. Ideally this means a chapter a week for six weeks, but it’s meant to be flexible.
Schedule a meeting with Sean. You, your student, and I will review the work he or she has done and we'll have a conversation about Reconciliation. This isn't an oral exam - I want to know your student really "gets it." Key things I'll ask about: sin, how to go to confession, a favorite bible story, who is Jesus, what an act of contrition is, etc. If it's clear your student has mastered the most important material, families may then decide when their student will make their first Reconciliation. At our Advent Penance service, first timers will be invited to line up at their desired station before everyone else. Families may also choose to attend one of our Saturday afternoon Reconciliation times, or make an appointment with Fr. Woody.
Families then begin the second workbook, to prepare for first Communion, in the same way. When your book is completed, we’ll meet and talk with your student about what he or she has learned. All families will be invited to participate in a retreat opportunity. In the past this has been on one Saturday morning, but we’ll have multiple opportunities at different days and times for this experience (Saturday morning, Wednesday afternoon/evening, Sunday afternoon, etc.).
When your student has completed the book, met with me, and had a retreat experience, your family can schedule their first Communion at any weekend Mass. Your family will sit in a special pew and your child can wear their special first communion outfit. This allows your family to pick your ideal weekend, whenever you’ve finished preparation. As with our infant baptisms, families cannot schedule a first communion during Lent (unless there is a true emergency). Lent 2020 is Wednesday, February 26 through Thursday, April 9. We reserve the right to restrict the number of families who can have reserved pews, and we cannot guarantee special seating for big holy days, such as Christmas or Easter.
On the fourth Sunday of Easter (when the Gospel is always about how Jesus is the Good Shepherd), we’ll have a special blessing for everyone who received communion for the first time that year, at all the weekend Masses. This way we can include and celebrate students who have received sacraments at Easter. Your child can wear their special outfit for this weekend, too. We’ll have a celebratory cake reception after each Mass on this weekend. For 2020, this special blessing and reception would happen on the weekend of May 3rd. Under the old model, this is the same weekend we would have our traditional First Communion Weekend in 2020.
How much does it cost?
It costs the parish about $25 per child to prepare them for their first reconciliation and first communion. We ask families to make a donation of $25 to help cover this cost, which includes books and retreat materials. No family registered at Our Lady of Lourdes will ever be turned away because they cannot pay, and any donation over and above $25 will help cover the cost of materials for all our students. Checks may be made to "OLL" and you can donate online here. Be sure to select "First Communion" under the Faith Formation drop-down box.
Questions? send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here.
Pastoral Assistant for Faith Formation