The Church teaches that complete membership of the Catholic Church is given by three Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist (Communion). In the West, we baptise in early infancy, and defer the other Sacraments of Initiation until a child has at least reached the "age of reason" (seven years old). In most Dioceses of the world, this is the age at which First Communion is given - Confirmation being deferred to a later age.
Recently Bishop John has revised the preparation for and celebration of these Sacraments: Confirmation will now be celebrated when our young people are in Year 8 – the first such celebration will be in the year 2021.
First Confession and First Holy Communion are celebrated in Year 3: each year parents of children going into year 3 in September are invited to enrol their children on the programme: from September to the following May the programme will enable our young people to be ready for the Sacraments by which they will belong fully to the Family of the Church.
Our children’s preparation is done primarily by their attendance at Sunday Mass, where they can listen to God’s Word in the Children’s Liturgy of the Word, and join in the prayers at the altar where Jesus gives us his Body and Blood. By watching, listening and joining in the children will become more and more open to the amazing gift of Holy Communion!
If you have a child who has been baptised and has entered Year 3 this September, and would like them to take part in the programme this year, please contact us as soon as possible. If your child attends Saint Mary's Primary School you will be contacted anyway.