Preparing children for the
Sacrament of Penance
First Reconciliation (sacrament of Penance) will be received prior to First Communion and is normally celebrated in Level 3. The diocese provides the following guidelines to determine readiness for the sacrament:
The child must have an initial knowledge of:
- The person of Jesus.
- The Gospel message of forgiveness.
- Sin and its effects.
- Understanding and experience of sorrow, forgiveness, and conversion.
First Holy Communion
First Communion (or First Eucharist) is normally received in Level 3.
The Church provides the following guidelines to determine readiness for the sacrament:
A child according to his/her capacity:
- Has celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to First Communion.
- Participates actively and consciously in Sunday Liturgy on a regular basis.
- Understands that (a) the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine and (b) that the Eucharist is the commemoration of Christ’s last meal with his disciples before he died, and a memorial of his sacrifice for our salvation
- Understands that by sharing in this special meal, we become brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ on earth.
In the Sacrament of Confirmation, Catholics are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Christian’s relationship with God is made stronger. A candidate for Confirmation should have participated prayerfully, faithfully, and responsibly in the preparation process. The candidates for confirmation are:
- Able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of Jesus, his teachings and the values and practices of the Catholic Faith.
- Faithfully attending Mass and celebrating Eucharist weekly.
- Able and willing to express their free decision to accept Confirmation and a desire to continue to nurture their relationship with the Risen Christ.
- Have received the sacrament of Reconciliation and First Communion as part of the immediate preparation for the celebration of Confirmation.
Choosing a Sponsor
You are in the privileged position of guiding your child in their decisions regarding Confirmation. One of the most important decisions will be the choice of your child’s sponsor. Please share the following information with your child as he/she prepares to make this important choice.
The Confirmation sponsor plays a special role not just in the celebration of Confirmation, but especially in the faith-life of the child. It is an honour to be chosen sponsor, but there is much more to the role than just being honoured. The sponsor is someone who acts as mentor, a “spiritual” parent, a “companion on the journey” of becoming a more committed and responsible Catholic Christian
A Sponsor Is...
- At least sixteen (16) years of age.
- Baptized and confirmed Catholic.
- A practicing Catholic.
- A good model of Christian living who can help your child grow in their experience of God through the practice of their faith.
- A real friend whom you can trust.
- A good listener in whom your child can confide.
- Actively interested and involved in your child’s faith & family experience.
- A “real” part of your child’s life who can declare before the parish community that your child is choosing freely to accept the privileges and responsibilities of Confirmation.