From apostolic times, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey of initiation – the stages being marked by liturgical celebrations which we now call the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. At the request of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, the revised Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) restored or introduced other intermediate Rites – for example, Rite of Election, Presentation of the Creed and of the Lord’s Prayer.
After lengthy consultation with schools, parishes and catechists, the Archdiocese announced a new policy on Easter Sunday 2012 which reaffirmed these arrangements but also emphasised the need for parishes to become more involved, rather that leaving all the preparations to the schools. The policy statement also re-emphasised that “parents are their children’s primary educators into the life-long journey of faith”. Schools and parish communities are there to support parents in this.
The Archdiocese’s statement further emphasised the necessity for Sunday participation in the Eucharist: “….it is important that parents and their children are committed to gathering for the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist”. It is after all the source and summit of our Christian way of life. Again “It is especially important in our present culture where there can be a pick and choose approach to essential aspects of Christian living. The Sunday Eucharist is not one option among many but intrinsic to our way of life.”
Primary 3 children- First Penance
First Penance, Primary 3 children now celebrate two Rites in their parish at Sunday Eucharist:
the Signing with the Cross, before Advent, recalls that these children were marked with the cross at their baptism; and reaffirms parents’ central role as first teachers in the ways of faith
the Rite of Illumination, around Candlemas, again connects with infant baptism in praying that the children continue to walk in the light of Christ.
Primary 4 children – First Holy Communion
Primary 4 children celebrate one Rite with the parish community at Sunday Eucharist:
Presentation of the Lord’s Prayer, where the children receive the prayer as the model of all Christian prayer, said each time the community gathers.
These events are accompanied by a series of preparatory meetings with parents of the children throughout the Primary 3 and 4 years along with associated celebrations in church for parents and children. The Archdiocese also encouraged parishes to set up Sacramental Teams, including parents and catechists, to assist in accomplishing all this. In St Peter’s a team led by the parish priest developed the new programme and continues to support the school during the annual cycle of events.
Primary 7 children- Confirmation
Presentation of Gospels and the Creed
More info see website Archdiocese – Catechetics – Resources –Sacraments : https://archedinburgh.org/
Registration for Sacramental preparation course in the new school year starts now!
Dear parents and guardians of children who will be in P3, P4 and P7 in September 2022 and are attending non-denominational schools, we’ll start Sacramental preparation classes –
Confession (P3), First Holy Communion (P4) and Confirmation (P7) – again in October 2022.
Classes will be on Sunday mornings 10.30 – 11.30 am in St Columba’s Halls every 2 – 3 weeks. For information and registration – before 31 July! – please contact Sister Karin:
This year’s classes:
Sacrament of 1st Holy Communion :
Sunday 5th June 2022 during 9.30 am Mass at St Columba’s church ;
Dates for children attending St Peter’s RC School:
1st Holy Communion: Saturday 4th June 2022 at St Peter’s Church