Thursday, February 24, 2011

Seventeen Children Receive First Communion

By Ate Virgie Santos, Catechetical Ministry
February 20, 2011 was a special Sunday for 17 Sunday School students.

For more than two years, 9 boys and 8 girls, ages ranging from 9 to 11 years old, prepared to receive their First Communion attending Sunday School classes on Catholic beliefs and basic prayers, moral s, and Christian behaviour from volunteer Sunday School catechists.

Hurdling Sunday School classes was not the only requirement. Each one had to submit their baptismal certificate to the parish office allowing them to receive two Sacraments: the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession and the Sacrament of First Communion. For those not yet baptized at the time of their First Communion, they were required to submit their birth certificate and a ‘no report certificate” from nearby parishes to allow them to receive three Sacraments: Baptism, First Confession and First Communion. All the first Communicants complied but a few Level 2 students could not and thus their First Communion was deferred.

The young boys came in white shirts and dark pants while the young girls wore white dresses and white veils crowned with white flowers. They led the procession at the start of the Holy Mass officiated by Fr. Luke, carrying lighted candles, and walking slowly towards their assigned pews as parents and parishioners clicked cameras to record the special event. At the time of Communion, each one came up the altar and individually knelt on a special pew flanked by lighted candles to receive for the first time the Holy Eucharist. It was a solemn event.

Parents beamed proudly at the sight of their children receiving the Holy Eucharist. Younger children in attendance envied their ates and kuyas. “Gusto ko rin mag-suot ng belo,” said one girl.

Weeks prior to this Sunday, catechists Ate Virgie, Ate Christy, and Ate Susan patiently prepared the young children for their first Confession and the rites of the Holy Eucharist. Extra Saturday classes were held to ensure the children were prepared spiritually. No less than Fr. Luke practiced the young Communicants on the rites a day before receiving the Sacrament. He also heard all their First Confessions a week before, each one ending their Confession silently, praying their penance at the Adoration Chapel.

At the same time the children were saying their first Confession, parents attended a short Recollection under Sr. Pilar, SRA and Sr. Ding, DM who instructed them on the significance of their children’s First Communion. Ate Virgie talked briefly on natural family planning and why the Church rejects the RH bill.

Parishioners are invited to send their children to SLRP’s Sunday School if attending non-sectarian schools. Sunday School classes this school year wind up on March 13.

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