Please note: This post is about preparing for the ceremonies
of First Confession and Communion
as opposed to faith formation and learning during the year.
I notice a significant numbers of visitors to this blog
are looking for information about preparation
for these ceremonies, hence this post.
Though the children will make their confession
on the altar, as part of their preparation,
I show the children the confession box
and explain that their grandparents
and perhaps parents made
their first confession in the confession box.
Teacher certainly did.
I sit in the priest’s compartment
and one by one they come into the side compartment.
It’s dark, they shut the door and it is an adventure for them.
I tell them about the anecdote in Frank O’ Connor’s
short story ‘My First Confession’ where the young hero
tries to kneel up on the arm rest!
We’ll also light candles another day.
The children really enjoy those two activities.
Then leaving nothing to chance,
I acquire that new year’s leaflet
in advance of the ceremony
and customize a copy for the priest,
writing in the names of the children
that he can call them up for their readings or prayer.
I used type out the prayers/readings
for each child and laminate them.
Now I prefer to have one laminated A3 sheet
with all readings/prayers/songs
on the lectern and we use this in every
practice. On the day the children are used
to using it.
Taking no chances I have a duplicate of this
in case it gets mislaid.
Art – Name Plates
Each child decorates a card with their name,
which goes on the seat that they are assigned to.
I code the back of these: writing on the R for right
and L for left i.e. to the right of the aisle/to the left
and the number seat the child is in.
Otherwise I am constantly check the ‘master list’
to check where I should be putting the cards,
and mistakes can be made.
I collect up these name plates after the First Confession
and use them again for First Communion.
We do two wall hangings for either side of the church
with all children having a part to play in their composition.
This saves having to hang forty or so pictures
separately in the church. This work is integrated with
art. Making them can be time consuming.
Of course after all that practicing it can happen
that the children are so excited on the morning
that all the preparation goes out the window.
That is when I am particularly thankful that
we have the support of the older children in the choir.
Parts One and Two of this topic here
There are great prayer resources here MargD Teaching Posters