Thursday, May 9, 2013

First Communion Preparations

For the past several months Ray has been preparing to receive his First Holy Communion. This Saturday is his big day! Please pray for him as he will come to the altar of the Lord for the first time at the 5:00 Mass. We all are very excited!

It has been such a joy to be able to teach and prepare him for this very special part of our lives as Catholics. Once upon a time, in what seems like a former life, I taught second grade. I absolutely loved and treasured the process of preparing the children for First Communion. It's truly awesome to be able to walk that walk now with my own son.

We have prayed, read lots of books, studied, talked, participated in parish preparation activities, celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation, made crafts, assembled a very dapper outfit, planned a party...... and it's been a great experience for our entire family. (And we get to do it again next year with Adam!) This process of passing on the faith is so enriching and fulfilling. It deepens our own faith and challenges us to grow in holiness and devotion. Jon and I see this task as central to our vocation and we love it.

So here are pictures of some of the preparation activities from the past several months....


We made this special Italian Easter bread during Easter week after watching the awesome (though dated) video "Grandma's Bread."

We've worked on learning the names of the various parts of the church, sacramentals, and other objects used during Mass. I had made a model of a church a few years ago for VBS. We had fun with it this winter.

A few weeks ago Ray and I participated in the parish First Communion retreat. It was a very nice afternoon of learning and prayer. We played First Communion Bingo, baked bread, listened to a story, made a banner, and enjoyed a nice lunch.

The homeschool and school of religion children were asked to bring their First Communion clothes and pose for a "class" picture (which is funny because Ray only knows one of these kids).

At the end of the retreat the children sang a beautiful Table Prayer Song, which we learned from a video and had practiced quite a bit at home.

Our parochial vicar was kind enough to give us a sacristy tour after daily Mass one morning. We all learned a lot!

We've spent extra time in church after Masses as we've practiced the names of the objects there and discussed their significance and symbolism.

 Here's Ray helping with the party planning by making some favors to give to his guests.

This week we made a few Eucharist-themed crafts to use as decorations for the party.

 When I taught second grade the students and their parents always completed a nine-week scrapbook project. I decided to do this project with Ray as a supplement to the textbook we used from the parish for his preparation lessons. We had fun doing it and he is very proud of the finished product, which will be a keepsake for him. We'll add his certificate and pictures at the back of the book.

The book has pages based on these themes ---

Here are some of Ray's favorite scrapbook pages ---


I love that last page where he wrote "This is Jesus." I had asked him to draw a chalice and host and he added those words. I knew then that he was ready. It seems like such a short time ago when we took him to be baptized. I can't wait to have him share in the Eucharistic Feast with us on Saturday and for a lifetime to come! It's truly the best gift I could ever share with him.

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