The Sacramental Preparation Process for school-aged youth at Sacred Heart Parish has utilized an intergenerational approach for parents and child candidates. This process is separate and in addition to regular Religious Education class participation.
The “typical” grades for sacrament celebrations are 4th Grade – First Reconciliation and 2nd Grade Confirmation and First Communion. (Special consideration is given for families with children who may be seeking to “catch-up” with sacrament celebrations).
Parents and child candidates attend instructional sessions together. There is an opening prayer, which includes a scripture reading pertaining to some aspect of the sacrament being studied. We participate in a supportive ritual and then split up into two groups for instruction. The children go for an age appropriate lesson while the parents remain with the pastor. We wrap up with the two groups sharing a bit of what they learned and close with a prayer and a blessing. We have received positive feedback from parents who have found this process to be enjoyable and meaningful.
As the sacrament celebration time draws near, the children participate in a retreat to reinforce all they’ve learned. There is usually a rehearsal and then finally a wonderful, positive celebration for the candidates and their families.
This process usually begins with enrollment in October. The sessions are spread throughout the year. First Reconciliation is typically celebrated in Advent while Confirmation and First Communion take place during the Easter Season.