At St. Francis Catholic Primary School we are able to receive three Sacraments:
- The Sacrament of Reconciliation - Year 3
- First Holy Communion - Year 3
- Confirmation - Year 6
The programme for Sacramental preparation begins in Autumn 1 when the children in Year 3 and Year 6 participate in a 'Mass of Commitment' at St. Francis of Assisi Church. This enables the children and their families to make a clear symbol of commitment and dedication to the programme.
The Year 3 and Year 6 children form 'Faith Buddies' and provide each other with support throughout their preparations to receive the Sacraments.
Preparing the Year 3 and Year 6 children to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation is the joint responsibility of parents/carers, all members of staff, the Year 3 and Year 6 teaching team and the RE Subject leader.
We have strong links with our parish community and this is vital to the successful running of the Sacramental programme. Photographs of the children are displayed in church so that members of the parish know who they are praying for and are invited to become prayer sponsors during the preparation for the Sacraments.
Although the children are prepared to receive the Sacraments in specific year groups, we build on the knowledge and understanding gained in the earlier years as well as the child's faith from home.
Year 3 take the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is received by baptised Catholic children, usually around Lent.
All children in Year 3 are included in the celebration of the sacrament and our inclusive ethos ensures that those children who are not baptised Catholics are enabled to participate as fully as possible in supporting their classmates during the programme.
Year 3 take another step along their Faith Journey, by receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a chance to say sorry to God for the things they have done that have hurt God, others and themselves. When God created man, in his image and likeness, he knew we would make wrong choices so he gave us the gift of Reconciliation so that we have the opportunity to put our wrongs, right and grow closer, to God; following in his ways.
Children in Year 3 receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
The children prepare thoroughly for this Sacrament. The preparation takes place during RE lessons and there are also meetings between school and parents.
On the day of Holy Communion, a great emphasis is placed on the child and their family receiving the Sacrament together. The rest of the school and parish community support them by preparing and taking part in the special Mass. After their First Holy Communion Mass, the children are encouraged to celebrate with their families and friends.
Following the receiving of the Eucharist, the children are ready to present themselves to the wider school community and prepare and lead the 'Thanksgiving Mass'. They partake in all parts of the liturgy. Afterwards they are given the opportunity to celebrate with their peers and the wider school, including their Faith Buddies from Year 6.
During their final year at St. Francis, the children in Year 6 are prepared for and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Their preparation begins with a meeting for parents/carers with the head teacher, Deputy headteacher/RE Subject Leader and Year 6 teacher, where they are given the opportunity to find out more about the Sacrament itself and then to discuss the programme which their children will follow.
s part of their work, children prepare a project on the saint of their choice. They are encouraged to select the name of a saint who has inspired them in some way. A sponsor is also chosen and has the role of supporting the child in their spiritual life.
During this time the children have the opportunity of a three day retreat to Alton Castle. Here they learn to grow in faith whilst considering the role of the Disciple.
The children are able to spend time with the Bishop, ensuring they are fully prepared and ready to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The evening itself is a very moving service but one of great celebration with children, parents, clergy, staff and members of the parish.
If you are not Catholic but are interested in Baptising your child or would like to know more about the Catholic Faith please contact Fr Malcolm Glaze.