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Sacramental Information

Preparing for the Sacraments

Important Information for Parents / Guardians on preparing our children for the Sacraments of Communion and Confirmation

For Communion, the religious education of the child takes place over a two year programme (i.e. first and second class), with both the Sacrament of First Confession and the Sacrament of First Holy Communion being received in second class.

Following Communion, the religious education programme is then covered over a four year period, beginning at third class and continuing through to sixth class, with the Sacrament of Confirmation being received in sixth class.

To receive the Sacrament of First Holy Communion, a child must have been baptised.

The preparation of our children for the sacraments involves the collaboration of the Home, the Parish and the Teachers/CA Committee/CA Community.

So let’s look at what is involved and how it all comes together? 

Firstly if we ask what role does CA Committee have?

The role of the CA Committee is to administer the religion classes and to relay to parents, any information which we receive from Priests, Parish reps etc. The committee also provides support with CA activities such as class projects or sacramental ceremonies.

Secondly what is the role of the religion Teacher?

(1) To sufficiently cover the Alive-O curriculum within the yearly class schedule.

(2) To provide some time for sacramental project work (e.g. Confirmation: choosing a sponsor, name, taking of the pledge (optional)), the practicing of prayers & songs and preparing artwork within the constraints of the class schedule.

(3) To be available at the sacramental rehearsals and ceremony to direct the children through the proceedings.

Thirdly how are Parents / Guardians involved in preparing their child for the sacraments?

All parents will want to support and encourage their child.  To help your child both to understand and be best prepared for the sacraments, you can ensure that

 (1) your child attends class each week so as to have the best chance of being prepared.

(2) Support the work of the Teacher by encouraging the child with homework, project work or the practicing of songs & prayers etc

(3) Engage with your church/parish on the Parish Preparation Programme.

Q. What is a Parish Preparation Programme?

This is a programme organised by your church and consists of a number of specially focused masses, in which the children are usually involved. These masses take place over a number of months throughout the year.

For Communion, this programme is called “Do This In Memory”

For Confirmation, this programme is called “Confirming Our Children”

Q. What do I need to do for the Parish Preparation Programme?

Engage with your local church / parish and know when this programme is starting, this will be noted in your parish bulletin.

Your church will organise a group of parents to coordinate this programme.  When a Le Chéile parent volunteers for this committee this means that information can be fed back to the Le Chéile CA committee/community.

You will need to complete an enrolment form – this is an agreement between you (the parent) and your church to partake in the programme.  The completed form needs to be returned to the church.

Along with the enrolment form, you will need to submit a copy of your child’s baptismal certificate, if your child was not baptised in that church.  If your child was baptised in the same church then you will only need to provide the child’s date of birth.

Q. I live in a Parish other than St. Mary’s Drogheda, Sacred Heart Laytown and Star of the Sea Mornington: what do I need to do?

Please note if you do not live in the parish of St. Mary’s Drogheda, Sacred Heart Laytown or Star of the Sea Mornington, you need to contact your local Parish Priest. He will inform you of the details of the local preparation programme.  It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that their child is enrolled in a preparation programme. 

Q. I do not live in the Diocese of Meath (Drogheda, Laytown & Mornington), what else do I need to do?

Where the Sacrament is taking place in the Diocese of Meath and you do not live in this Diocese, then you will need to write to your local Parish Priest to request permission for your child to make the Sacrament outside of your home parish.

Parish Sacramental Preparation Masses

Attendance at the Preparatory Masses is seen as very much the minimal in preparation expected from children in sacramental classes. Weekly attendance at Sunday Mass is the key to proper preparation and understanding of the Sacraments.