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.
Quite a number of visitors to this blog
are looking for information about preparation
for these ceremonies, hence this post.
If it is your first time preparing a communion class
you might find helpful ideas here.
How does one prepare for the First Confession ceremony?
I ‘role play’ being the priest. The children are introduced
to me by other children pretending to be the parent(s)
I’ll talk to the class about who’ll bring them up
and talk about ‘different kinds of families’.
I’ll get them very familiar with what to say
when they go up to the priest.
We also talk at length about
‘the examination of conscience’
and what they could say to the priest
about the ‘times they did not show love’.
But we never ‘practice’ these
‘times they did not show love’.
I advise the parents to talk to them
about what they could tell the priest
with them at home also so they know
what they will say when the time comes
What about seating?
Traditionally, where I teach,
children sit with their families.
In other schools the children sit up the front
with their families sitting behind.
Some schools include a ‘service of light’ with candles
in the First Confession ceremony.
We have a choir from third and fourth to
support the children making their confession
I allocate seating according to the job a child is doing
so that for example the children saying the first prayer
are sitting across the aisle from each other
and walk up together when their time comes.
Then we’ll book the church for two
perhaps three rehearsals.
The children may need to be taught
– how to genuflect towards the tabernacle,
and how to behave in church;
– how to bless themselves
with holy water on the way in,
– and not to kneel up on the seat
and look behind them.
Walking up the middle aisle
and down the side will need practice
as parents are inclined to turn around
and walk back the way they came.
This can be disconcerting for the children.
They will also need to learn how to receive
the host properly in their hands.
Our parish office provide us with a box
of unconsecrated hosts in the week before
Communion and we practice with these.
Parts One and Three of this topic here
Excellent prayer resources and visuals here: MargD Teacher Posters