What's My Role?
As you prepare your child to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist for the first time, you are continuing to fulfill the promise you made at their Baptism to ensure their ongoing growth in the faith. The Sacramental Preparation activities throughout the year are designed to enrich the family’s experience and assist you in this most important task.
- In addition to teaching our children about the Catholic faith through attending Mass, it is also important that our faith is part of our daily life at home. Here are a few ideas of how to do this.
- Tell your child how wonderful it is that God loves us. Emphasize that God loves us even when we fail to love. God is always ready to forgive us.
- Pray with your children each day. Use Catholic prayers and model how pray can also be a conversation with God.
- Read from the Bible, God’s Word. Show reverence in handling the book with care and give it a place of honor in your home. Ask for God’s help to understand the passage that you are reading. Encourage children to listen attentively and then reflect on what was read.
- Be alert to opportunities in daily life to model God’s love. Show kindness and respect to all people that you meet. Model forgiveness - ask for and offer forgiveness in the presence of your child as situations arise.
- Talk with your child about your own faith. Share the positive memories about receiving the Sacraments for the first time. Let your children ask questions.
- Reflect on your own faith experiences. If you have had a negative experience, try not to let these feelings be passed on to your child.
- Model the sacraments to your child. Bring them with you when you receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (they can wait on a pew outside of the confessional) and then talk about how great it feels to be forgiven. Have them walk up to Communion with you to receive the blessing. After Mass, talk about what it is like to receive Jesus.
- There are some specific topics to discuss in preparing for First Reconciliation.
- What is a Sin? Young children need to form a correct conscience and need instruction to understand what sin is. Please take time to discuss the meaning of an accident, a mistake and a sin. A sin is a conscience choice. Help them understand the difference between a temptation to do wrong and making the wrong choice. Also, remind them it is still a sin, even if they were not caught. Examination of Conscience Children need to know how to determine if something is a sin by examining their conscience. Please see the separate hand out with more details of how to do an examination of conscience before going to confession.
- What is said in the confessional, stays in the confessional Remind your children that the priest is honor bound to never repeat or discuss anything that he hears in an individual’s confession. He is not going to tattle to mom and dad.
- Face to Face or Screen Time Discuss the option of meeting with the priest face to face or behind the screen. Have your child decide which option before entering the confessional.
- Help your child memorize the Act of Contrition