Sacrament Season

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We had three celebrations of First Communion last weekend and will have three more next weekend. These celebrations are getting better. There is a great focus on the child and the sacrament now after three years of trying. We are doing our best to eliminate the phlanx of parents with their cameras. This year we hired a professional photographer to record the event. These people were exceptional. They made a minimal impact on the liturgy, and they were available before and after for portrait sessions in the Hall. In the picture each child appears in front of the altar with all its Easter decorations, a picture that was taken a few weeks ago. So the Church, before and after the ceremony, is preserved as a sacred space. The ushers are getting better at ridding the aisle of camera bearing parents, and they are now free to enter into the experience of the sacred mysteries.

Here are some of the pictures that were taken.

First Communion Pictures

Next week is three more First Communion celebrations, then we have two Confirmation celebrations on the following Saturday. The following weekends will see an increase of wedding celebrations, along with the School Graduation.

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Did any of the children receive Holy Communion on the tongue?

My question is: were you somewhat successful in getting the parents to see that receiving from the Cup is an important participation in the sacrament?

that's phalanx, I think, which is a more organized structure than the usual free-for-all!

That's a tremendous idea. Our aisles have been filled with camera-bearing parents blocking the Communion line for weeks.

Sharon: No, none of the children received on the tongue. But thank you for bringing that up. We do not teach that as an option. We may in the future, depending on my conversation with Fr. Jeff. I have mixed feelings about receiving on the tongue. For instance, we have two Extra-Ordinary Ministers who insist on receiving on the tongue, but then they quite easily distribute the Body to others, touching the Body to do so. Hmmm..... So I'm not so sure how I feel about teaching it. But it's somthing to think about.

Maureen: No, I do not think we got the parents to understand the priviledge of receiving the Most Precious Blood. Again, that is something that once your bring it up I go, "duh!, why haven't I worked that with the parents?". I guess we've just been struggling to get them to go to Mass every week, let alone receive the Body AND the Blood. Again, something to think about for next year. As you know, Fr. Jeff is very good about taking the time to work these things into the program.

Matthew: Yeah, but there were still some, well, shall I say, "folks", who didn't get it? I have to shamefully admit that I had my camera with me on Saturday morning when my "granddaugher" made her First Holy Communion at St. Edward, and it was so difficult to not take pictures! I truly do get where people are coming from. Unfortunately, if we are honest with ourselves, a great number of the people there for the First Communion Masses have not seen the inside of a Church for many years. And to be honest, I'm happy to see them there. Seriously, you never know what will bring someone back, right? But the behavior at the First Communion Masses, sometime I just want to bonk them on the head a little bit.

I prepared the kids ahead of time to expect this kind of "event" behavior. I told them that if they found it distracting from prayer, they should just close their eyes and pray. Since I was an extra-ordinary minister at the Masses I got to see their faces as they returned to their pews. It was so darn cute to see so many of them with "prayer hands" and closed eyes, trying to avoid distraction.

Oh gosh! I love this job. It is sort of like the big leagues (that's Dodgers to you, Fr. Jeff). There are only so many people who get to work with the children this closely, and, gosh darn it, I'm one of them!! Is pride one of those big sins?

  one of Fr. Keyes' photos

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. published on May 1, 2007 8:44 AM.

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