We are Catholic teachers who have extensive experience of preparing children and adults to receive the Sacraments. We knew that teachers were looking for comprehensive guidance and that families needed support to become completely involved in the preparation of their children. Having spoken to our parish priest and to teaching colleagues we decided we had to be proactive. As a result we have produced a practical and accessible programme of Sacramental Preparation which encourages Home, School and Parish to work together in the Faith Formation of children. There are 4 sets of booklets available: Reconciliation, First Communion, Confirmation for Children (because in some dioceses in Scotland children are confirmed aged 8) and Confirmation for Young People aimed at young people aged 11 & older.
All three Sacramental Preparation Programmes provide:
- DetailedLessons for Teachers and Catechists
- Children’s Activities linked to each lesson
- Guidance for Families withHome Activities which support parents and carers to work confidently with their children as they play their part in this important journey
This Sacramental Preparation Programme – ‘Sacramental Journey‘ was granted a Nihil Obstat & Imprimatur in 2013.
The Programmes of Preparation cover the catechetical elements of each sacrament. Suggested time scales are given for each lesson but depending on circumstances in individual schools, lessons may be carried out once or twice weekly at the class teacher’s or parish catechist’s discretion. Similarly, teachers may wish to allocate more than one teaching session to a particular lesson or lessons.
There are many good children’s Bibles available but we have recommended The Everyday
Children’s Bible ISBN 978-085231-3367 and scripture references are given so that teachers and catechists can source the readings from other Bibles. After every lesson there is a related follow-up class activity and Home Session. We have been told by many parents that they have enjoyed working with their children and feel that they know them so much better by the end of the period of preparation.
From our experience children also have difficulty remembering the prayers which they should be able to recite in class and individually. We have suggested that each child is given a Prayer Partner so that they can listen to one another as they practise the prayers in each programme. They also practise the prayers at home and can mark off their successes on the Prayer Sheet which is included in each pack.
We organised a pilot of the complete programme in 15 Roman Catholic schools in our Archdiocese and the feedback we have received from teachers and head teachers has been wholly positive and enthusiastic.
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