Dear sisters and brothers,
This week we begin preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation which will be celebrated on Tuesday June 7. The Archdiocesan policy for the preparation of Confirmation and First Communion has changed over the years, with a revised policy introduced last year. The revised policy presumes that initiation is completed over a couple of years, and is designed to support and accompany parents in the preparation of their children. The new policy establishes a two-fold process of preparation and formation for Confirmation, followed by First Communion:
In the year when the children turn eight (Year Three), they are sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation administered by the Bishop or his delegate. In the year when the children turn nine (Year Four), they are welcomed to the Lord’s Table and receive Holy Communion for the first time. This is the climax of their Christian initiation.
The sacrament of Penance follows a similar pattern and is woven into the preparation for First Communion:
Introducing children to the greatness of God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Penance is a two-step process. A simple celebration of the second rite of the Sacrament of Penance is included as part of the preparation for First Communion. In the year when the children turn ten (Year Five), they are prepared to celebrate more fully the Sacrament of Penance with individual confession and absolution (the First Rite). This builds on the work of the previous year as they take the second step and learn in greater detail what it means to examine their conscience.
Over the next month or so, our families who are preparing for the celebration of Confirmation will be joining us for various rituals of welcome and encouragement. I know that you will help them feel at home and encourage them with your own gestures of support and gracious hospitality. This next six weeks or so gives us the opportunity to develop our culture of hospitality. This is a very welcoming parish and I hope that this will be the experience of the many families who will join us for preparation over the next two months. For some of these families, it will be an important opportunity to reconnect with the parish community. It might be your smile and word of welcome which makes all the difference.
|Jun 24, 2016||6th Sunday of Easter 01.05.2016||Listen||Download|