Please bring your family to Mass every week, and attend the following:
10/11 FIRST COMMUNION Parents Only Orientation 4p Sat. Feb. 10th or 10:30a Sun. Feb. 11th
17/18 FIRST COMMUNION RETREAT #1 Sat. Feb. 17 1-4pm or Sun. Feb. 18 1-4pm (required)
10/11 FIRST COMMUNION RETREAT #2 Sat. March 10 @ 1pm-4 OR Sun. March 11 from 1-4p (also required)
19 FIRST COMMUNION REHEARSAL – THURSDAY, April 19 (5:15p for 5:15p Sat. Mass; 6:15p for 9:15am Mass; 7:15p for 11:30a Mass)
21/22 FIRST COMMUNION WEEKEND! (5:15p Saturday, April 21; 9:15am and 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 22)
One pew for each family will be randomly assigned near the front for each 1st Communicant’s family. There is no guarantee you’ll be seated close to your child, but we will make every effort to give you the best view possible. A master seating chart will be given to you in advance. On the day of your child’s 1st Communion look for a specially prepared nametag on your assigned pew. Additional relatives and friends that don’t fit in your pew with you will need to sit with the rest of the assembly. All are welcome!
Children should be clean and well groomed. We want to look our best and be our best for Jesus at every Mass. Traditionally, children wear white for First Communion, but it is not necessary to purchase something new nor expensive. White dresses for girls and white dress shirts for boys are most common.
Please come to our First Communion Rehearsals earlier in the week so that you’ll know what to do and where to go and then arriving early may not be necessary.
+Thursday, April 19 First Communion Rehearsals (5:15p for 5:15 SAT. Mass; 6:15p for 9:15a Sun. Mass; 7:15p for 11:30am Mass)
Since you’ll have an assigned pew it is not necessary to arrive terribly early for Mass; however, before and after Mass you are most welcome to take as many photos as you like. Please respect the other families who would like to do the same.
A professional photographer has not been contracted at this time, but one may be available on First Communion Weekend that will communicate directly with you about their plans. You are most welcome to take as many photos as you like before and after Mass. Please, no flash photography during Mass and no standing in the aisles. Take only non-flash discreet photos or none at all during Mass. Thank you!
Transubstantiation literally means ‘changed substance’. We Catholics believe that the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Although the bread and wine remain in appearance to be bread and wine, they are at their very essence changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is a great mystery that is difficult to understand, but can be believed. In the Eucharist, Jesus gives us His Whole Self, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, as the Greatest Gift. Here’s a helpful explanation from our own Fr. Bob:
The word substance means – ‘the being’ (latin, star-é) ‘underneath’ (sub). Substance = The being that is underneath what our senses perceive.
So, when our senses perceive ‘bread’ – it can be a hundred different types of ‘bread’, but we immediately say ‘that is bread’, because our intellect is made to pick up ‘the being underneath’ what we perceive. (Good to have pictures of different types of bread).
Now, if I were to see a loaf of bread and say ‘that is a horse’, then something is wrong. I only say ‘that is a horse’ when my senses perceive the ‘sub-stare’ of ‘horse’ beneath that 4-legged creature.
With ‘trans-sub-stantiation’, by a miracle, the living Jesus takes the place (trans = through and through) of the ‘sub-stare’ beneath what I perceive as ‘bread’. Since is it consecrated by the priest, it is no longer ‘bread’ because the substance of it is now the living Jesus.
Still don’t get it? You’re not alone. The Catechism of the Catholic Church offers this:
#1336 “The first announcement of the Eucharist divided the disciples, just as the announcement of the Passion scandalized them: ‘This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?’ (John 6:60) The Eucharist and the Cross are stumbling blocks. It is the same mystery and it never ceases to be an occasion of division. ‘Will you also go away?’ (John 6:67): the Lord’s question echoes through the ages, as a loving invitation to discover that only He has ‘the words of eternal life’ (John 6:68) and that to receive in faith the gift of His Eucharist is to receive the Lord Himself.”
Set a good example. Children imitate their parents. When we do the right thing, kids copy us. Unfortunately, when we make mistakes, our kids often copy those, too. Look at the priest at the Altar and pray from your pew during the miracle of transubstantiation. Participate in the prayers and songs. Keep your eyes fixed on what is most important during the Consecration while you’re kneeling – Jesus! If necessary, point a wiggly child toward the altar by facing their shoulders in the proper direction and/or by putting a finger to your lips. When my children were very little, I would whisper to them, “It’s Father’s turn right now. You’ll have a turn to talk later, but right now it’s Father’s turn” and then I returned my attention to the priest ignoring any further comment from my child. Hope that helps!
All are welcome! The celebration of the Mass is a communal prayer prayed all over the world for all people. When it’s time to receive Holy Communion those who believe in Jesus’ Real Presence in the Eucharist are welcome to receive Him in the Host. Guests are welcome to come up for a blessing and may cross their arms over their chest to indicate this desire.
Lots of excellent prayerful preparation has been planned for your family. We invite you to take advantage of all that St. Anne’s offers you to make your job as a Catholic parent easier. The first retreat includes some special hands-on presentations about the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and lets the children taste an unconsecrated host during a practice round. The second retreat will include time to paint a Blessing Cup, a fun tradition here at St. Anne. Lots of other fun family experiences await you during both weekend retreats! Please make time to attend both!
Your child may receive his/her First Communion from the Priest, Deacon, or Lay Minister. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are trained volunteers who distribute Communion with servant hearts. They are parishioners. Usually, parents of First Communicants are not asked to participate in this ministry on this special day to avoid distraction.