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Children entering Year 3 of primary school will be eligible to receive Holy Communion for the first time next summer. It is the duty, and privilege, of parents to prepare their child for this important step, with the support of the Parish. To this end, there are regular sessions for the children together with their parents/carers, each month. In order to undertake this programme, it is important that you are prepared to make the following commitments:
·      You must attend the information meeting on Monday, 16th September at 7.30pm,  
·      Attend all of the sessions together with your child
o  Please understand that missing sessions with no good reason will mean deferring your child’s First Holy Communion until next year
·      To attend Mass weekly, as a family.
·      To spend time regularly with your child, continuing on from the group sessions and working on the book at home.
·      Arrange an appointment to see Fr Antony before your child celebrates the Sacrament of Reconciliation in December

 Please note that children should be prepared for their First Holy Communion in the parish where the family regularly worships.

 During Mass on a weekend (to be arranged), you will be invited to stand up and make that commitment in the presence of the congregation.

If you feel that you as a family are ready for this solemn undertaking, then please fill in the attached registration form
and return it to the parish office by Monday, 9th  September at the latest with:
·      A copy of your child’s Baptism certificate
·      Payment of £25 (or part payment of £12.50) If this will cause you difficulty, please speak to Fr Antony in private

The Programme
The programme that we follow here at Holy Cross is called "I Belong" and it follows the structure of the Mass, from when we bless ourselves as we enter the church, until we are sent forth at the end of the Mass ‘…to love and to serve the Lord’.

Our first session, in September, looks back at our Baptism, which made us all members of the same family—that of the Church throughout the world.

From then until December we prepare for the children’s First Reconciliation, which takes place during Advent.

In January we begin by looking at the different parts which make up the Mass and why it is so important for us to gather as a congregation each week to share in the Eucharist.

There are four more sessions before First Communion at the end of May.
In June we gather for a final time to reflect on the fact that we have reached an important stage together, but it is not the end of the journey, and we are all sent out to show by our lives that we are true Christians.

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The children work, with their parents, in small groups with their own catechists. Over the course of the year each group will have their turn to prepare and read the Prayers of the Faithful (the Bidding Prayers) during Mass. This usually happens during the 10.00 am Mass on Sunday, please ensure that your child is there when it is their turn.

Please note that it is not possible to offer child care facilities during the First Communion sessions. Parents will need to make alternative arrangements for any younger children.

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Message from the Parish Priest [Fr Antony Megalan Sellam]

Dear Parent,

I am delighted that you are now presenting your child for Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. This is a major part in the life of a Catholic and is part of the promise you made when you brought your child for Baptism.  

Though no one can replace your role in preparing your child for this special moment, you are not alone in this task. The parish and school will always be ready to help and support.  

The catechists will teach your child about Jesus, the Church, the Sacraments and especially about Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Our Holy Cross parish will prepare the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the First Holy Communion celebration, and parishioners will provide you and your family, along with other families, opportunities to participate in its life and to get to know your fellow parishioners better. Please play your part in taking an active interest in what our parish is offering.  

You will know that your child is ready to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation when in their own way they:  
• know that God loves them and is always ready to forgive no matter what;
• know and understand what is meant by sin;
• are able to reflect on their own behaviour;
• they want to express sorrow and to make amends;
• and appreciate the place and importance of Reconciliation.  

You will know that your child is ready to make their First Communion when in their own way they:  
• know about Jesus, they pray to him and want to receive Communion with him and his Church;
• show reverence and respect;
• know the difference between Holy Communion and ordinary food;
• be attentive and aware of what is happening during Mass;
• have some sense of belonging to the parish family.  

Please be assured of my support and prayers.

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First Communion dates 2019-2020
(May be subject to change)

Closing date for applications: Monday 9th September
Monday 16th September 7.30 pm: Introductory evening for parents

Saturday 12th October  In the name of the Father
Looking back at our Baptism, the reason why we are here.
Up until Christmas, we concentrate on preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Saturday 2nd November     : Lord, have mercy

Saturday 23rd November  : Celebrating our rescue
Saturday 7th December     : God helps us to get it right
Saturday 14th December   : First Reconciliation
Saturday 11th January 2019 :Glory to God in the highest
The Mass is like a song of praise and thanksgiving for the gift of God’s son.
Saturday 8th    February  :The word of the Lord
We listen to God’s word and respond in the prayer of the faithful
Saturday 7th  March :Bread to offer/Fruit of the vine
We acknowledge God’s gifts to us—and respond generously
We prepare to receive the Body and Blood of Christ
Do this in memory of Me : Date to be Confirmed
The body of Christ : Date to be Confirmed
First Communion weekends
Date to be Confirmed

To love and to serve : Date to be Confirmed
Sending forth’ as members of the Body of Christ.
Followed by presentation of certificates and a small celebration

Please find below the quiz to download:
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