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 :

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 2023 and are attending non-denominational schools, we’ll start Sacramental preparation classes
Confession (P3), First Holy Communion (P4) and Confirmation (P7) – again in October 2023.

Classes will be on Sunday mornings 10.30 – 11.30 am in St Columba’s Halls every 2 – 3 week – please contact Sister Karin:

Sacramental Celebration dates

  • First Holy Communion:  St Columba’s : Sunday 2 June 2024 during 9.30 am Sunday Mass

                                                 St Peter’s : Saturday 8 June 2024 at 10.00 am

  • Confirmation: Wednesday 15 May 2024 at 7.00 pm in St Mark’s Oxgang First Communion

Registration for Sacramental Preparation Course 2023-24

Preparation for the Sacraments of First Confession (P3), First Holy Communion (P4) and Confirmation (P7) begin in   October.

Parents, if your children attend a non-denominational school and will be in P3, P4 or P7 in September 2023, please register for the Sacramental Preparation Classes held in St Columba’s Halls on Sunday mornings 10.30-11.30am every 2-3 weeks.

For information and registration please contact Sister Karin: