The sacramental programme is the means by which baptised children can complete their journey into full membership of the Catholic Church. Baptism is the first of three sacraments of initiation. The gift of God’s Holy Spirit which the children received in Baptism is strengthened later on in the sacrament of Confirmation and after this, they complete their journey with the reception of first Holy Communion – a public declaration that they are now fully a part of this community – this ‘Communion’ of God’s family. The programme itself strives to help them grow into this community and feel a real sense of belonging to the wider Family of God. This can only happen if we all recognise the importance of being a part of that family, at worship, on Sundays or Saturday evenings. It is, therefore, essential that children on the programme attend Mass regularly and members of the Children’s Liturgy Team are ready to help families achieve this in any way they can.
The programme involves a close partnership between the parish, the home and the Catholic school – but if your child does not attend a Catholic school, we will do all we can to prevent them from missing out on anything. Each part of the programme is important as it forms a part of the child’s experience of God which will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We hope this will be a very positive experience and we trust that parents will support them at every step of the journey. Catholic parents make a commitment when they bring their children for Baptism, to support them and help them make sense of what is being given as they grow old enough to understand more. It is always wonderful at sacramental programme time to witness parents taking that commitment so seriously.
If your circumstances make it impossible to attend one of the sessions, please let us know and we will make every effort to ensure your child does not miss out. It is our wish to work with you and help in any way we can, so that the children will genuinely be ready for the sacraments.