Resources for First Holy Communion
We have made available in pdf form a copy of the Sacramental Programme Resources as used in many parishes over the last few years. Parishes are able to print off and reproduce for their own use.
Previously Issued Resources
Other Resource Examples
We do suggest that you and your coordinators might look, for this year or subsequent years, at the variety of resources that are also available. Examples of these can be found below with observations from one of our experienced Coordinators and Headteachers.
1. ‘Journey Together Towards Reconciliation’ & ‘Journey Together Towards First Holy Communion’ By Paddy Rylands (Kevin Mayhew publication)
The introductions give some very good ideas for preparation of Catechists for accompaniment.
A lot of very useful resources for sessions, including scriptural excerpts with questions and activities to relate to their own lives.
There are work sheets for the sessions which would be very helpful for catechists, parents and children.
There are suggestions for family prayer, lovely poems and prayers to use.
2. ‘We Share in the Eucharist’ (Children’s Workbook) by Francoise Darcy-Berube and Jean Paul Berube (Twenty Third Publications- Novalis)
A detailed set of activities focusing on the Mass. Would probably be too detailed for most parish’s programmes.
The second half of the book is a ‘Family guide’ which would be useful if programme sessions were organised for families together. There are some very nice short prayer liturgies which could be used in the sessions or at home.(Pages 7-12).
There are some activities focused on stories that illustrate themes which reflect the elements of the Mass.
3. ‘I belong’ By Aileen Urquart (Redemptorist publications)
Pupil’s book is attractively presented (hardback). It would be expensive to buy one for each child and most parish programmes wouldn’t have time to cover all the activities. Some good questions and activities though.
The children’s book has a ‘Family time’ page after each section. These would be useful if sessions were family sessions or for follow up at home. I didn’t have the parents’ book for this programme so it wasn’t clear how the children sessions and adult session fitted together.
4. ‘Making things right’ (for Reconciliation) & ‘Called to His Supper ‘ (For First Holy Communion) By Jeannine Timko Leichner (Our Sunday visitor publication)
Black line drawings and text. Lots of cloze procedure type activities and colouring sheets. Could be used sparingly but would encourage passive activity in the children I think!
Could be used if sessions were for parents and children together, if it encouraged discussion between them.
5. ‘Loved and Forgiven’ (Preparation for Reconciliation (supported by The Parents and Catechists’ companion) By Joan Brown SND (Kevin Mayhew)
This was a very attractively presented workbook, which placed the emphasis on the child being welcomed and loved by God. Some good activities on themes of Welcome, Myself, Listen, Remember and Rejoice.
It was a very positive slant on Reconciliation. Could be used very effectively at home within the family or in Catechist sessions together with parents. It dates from 1999. Hopefully it is still in print!
In the Parents’ and Catechists’ Guide there were lots of good activities for use in Catechists’ session with children accompanied by instructions for parents for Home sessions.
There is also a companion workbook for Holy Communion called “Meet Christ with Joy” but I haven’t had the opportunity to review that. However, the Parents’ and Catechists’ guide mentioned above covers this workbook as well, so it should be of the same quality as “Loved and Forgiven”.
6. “I am preparing for my first Confession” & “I am preparing for my first Holy Communion” by Marie-Paule Mordefroid (McCrimmon Publishing Co Ltd, originally published in France by French publishing company)
Children’s workbooks with black line drawings illustrating text. Straightforwardly written explanations of church teaching on the Sacraments with relevant scripture. The workbooks have pull out sections for Catechists and Parents. I wouldn’t use the workbook as a whole with children but there are parts which might be useful for information for parents and catechists.
It is more useful for reading with children; there aren’t many activities to make the children think more deeply about the Sacraments. It could be used in Sacramental Programme sessions for families together with some guidance from catechists.
7. ‘With you always Sacramental Preparation’ – Family Catechesis programme for First Reconciliation and Eucharist for the Archdiocese of Liverpool
Catechists Book accompanied by Parents’ and Children’s leaflets which relate to the seven catechists sessions planned into the programme.
These resources presuppose that parents and children attend the sessions together.
This resource is well written , very practical and attractively presented. The programme places the emphasis on the parents being the first teachers of their children and aims to equip and strengthen parents’ ability to carry out this task, discovering anew key aspects of their faith.
There are materials for seven sessions throughout the year, as well as other suggested activities, such as holding an Advent Celebration focusing on the nativity and a Stations of the Cross service in Lent to supplement the course.
We have several very positive testimonies from parishes that are using this resource as its effectiveness. There is a website set up by Liverpool with other supplementary ideas and materials and you can obtain the whole programme translated into Polish for families who need that.
Although there are points when catechists would need to give brief input to parents and lead prayer celebrations, they act much more as accompaniers and facilitators than ‘teachers’ or ‘instructors’. Catechists are there to welcome families, organise the sessions and support the families in their activities, questions and discussions and also to be role models and share what they can of their faith where appropriate.
Published by the Archdiocese of Liverpool www.withyoualways.org.uk
Please note there are also short video talks aimed at parents and catechists available.
These can be viewed as discussion starters at parents’ meetings or by parents at home.
For help or advice about the Sacraments of Initiation, please contact Fr. Chris Lough