Our second graders at our school are preparing for their first reconciliation and first communion this year. The parishoners are asked to pray for the children. However, there are 2 children who are listed to pray for who received the sacraments last year with my son (they were held back in 2nd grade). I happened to draw one of their names to pray for and I was wondering if it was okay for them to receive their “first” reconciliation and communion twice? I am not really sure how to pray for them.
obviously we receive communion and confess our sins multiple times over our lives, but there can be only one first. I assume that because they were of canonical age and were deemed ready, they received the sacraments with their age group, even though that is not their grade in school due to academic reasons. Can’t you just pray for them without telling God exactly what to do for them? I further assume they may even be allowed to attend the First Communion Mass with their class so they don’t feel left out, but like everyone else there who is already receiving communion, will be there in support of the candidates. We have a few children like that each year. They know and the parents know this is not “the first” so why sweat it?
Pretty much what asquared said. Perhaps they just ended up on the list out of habit.
In addition to children who repeat a grade now and then, we have children in our school who are not Catholic, and will not be receiving First Reconciliation or Communion. They do go to the 1-day retreat, they learn the prayers, they do go where their class goes, and they are invited to attend both events without receiving sacraments. They are there to witness the events (not that there is much to witness in confession). They get holy cards that does not offend their religious background when the others receive ones relating to First Penance and Communion. They learn all the stuff because when their parents asked to send them to our school, the parents made an agreement that their children would be in a school that is uncompromisingly Catholic, and sacramental prep is part of the curriculum.
Technically you can’t receive “FIRST” Reconciliaton or “FIRST” Holy Communion a second time. (Looking perplexed) You can however receive Rconciliation and Holy Communion every day if you want. Those children should be receiving Reconciliation on a regular basis and Holy Communion every Sunday and Holy Day.
My daughters recieved their first communion with my entire family when we joined the Catholic Church last Easter.
But the Church also allowed my daughters to take celebrate first communion with their Sunday School Classmates. It wasn’t technically their first communion, but they understood that.
This is why many Bishops are moving to requiring children to receive the Sacraments, First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, Confirmation within their own Parish Community at their parish church, not at the Catholic school they attend. Sacramental preparation should also take place within the Faith Formation process at the parish, not the school. Many parents are not encouraged to keep their children in parish “CCD” programs when they are also in Catholic school, but they should.
In our area, when children are enrolled in a Catholic school other than at their parish, parents are given the option of having their children receive such sacraments with their class, or at their home parish. Children enrolled in Catholic school are not required to attend Rel. Ed. in their home parishes inorder to receive the scaraments in their home parish, if requested. Why? The programs in the schools are more in-depth, and to place a child in two hours of Rel. Ed. a week after 3.5-4 hours of religion classes per week in school on the same topic is asking too much of the child, particularly younger children.
I agree with the Bishops that are mandating that all Sacraments be always celebrated within the Parish, not the School. My goodness 5 or 6 hours of religious education is too much? When many children spend 5 or 6 hours practicing for band, soccer or baseball each week during the season?
They are not the same topics in many programs. Catholic schools have become very weak in their Catholic identity because of the number of non-Catholic children in the school. In my experience non-Catholic children are in the religion class with the Catholic children. Many times the teacher is not Catholic. So the version the Catholic children get is not the same as they get from parish “CCD”. Sacramental preparation also is a separate process from “CCD”.
How about children just getting to spend time being children? How about the homework load that comes with a good school? When are kids supposed to sleep? Eat at home in a family setting? Take a bath? Have their uniforms washed? Get in family time? Pray as a family? Have you ever dealt with children of 7 or 8 who are over-tired from too much activity? Not a pretty picture, let me tell you. Little kids should not be penalized for parental choices, and if their parents prefer to send them to Catholic school when their parish has not provided one, they should have the opportunity to receive their sacraments with their community at the school.
And in our diocese, they ARE the same topics. Instead of trying to regulate the location, the diocese office has instead made sure the “CCD kids” are receiving the same Catholic religious education (provided they attend) that the Catholic schools receive. This is something to be commended. In the past in our area, Rel. Ed. was dilluted because of the fallacy that the “publics” couldn’t possibly understand at the level of the Catholic kids.
[FONT=Arial]ALL Catholic schools? Or some Catholic schools? Our school is rigorous in its Catholic identity. [/FONT]
Not in our diocese. Not in our school. Not in the Catholic schools and parishes around us. Rel. Ed., or “CCD” as you call it gets the exact same sacramental preparation because it has been standardized, and the standard is implemented throughout the diocese. The “publics” attend their retreat with the Catholic school children, and the home ed. children are invited to participate.
You are correct, in my experience, most have.
Still Sacraments belong in the parish community not the school community. Canon Law says that pastors are responsible for the preparation for and the celebration of Sacraments involving members of his parish. The Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Confirmation and (First)Holy Communion are Sacraments of the parish community. I hope we do not start seeing Baptisms taking place at school masses! With infants being baptized into the school community!
Infants might be baptized into the parish community, but more importantly they are baptized into the Trinity and the Church as a whole. The Catholic school of another parish is only a “branch office” of the same Church. If the religious curriculum of a diocese is standardized, then where is less important.
We would not be splitting hairs on location if the Latin Church did as the Eastern Church and bapitzed and confirmed infants, then gave them their First Holy Communion right there. I think if this were so, where they or their parents choose for them to receive their First Reconciliation when they are seven-ish would be less stressful.