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April 17, 2008

First Communion Season

Well, It is that time of year again. Things have been improving. I remember with sadness my first year here. There were some seven different first communion celebrations. I would have to search my archives to see if I ranted about the zoo-like atmosphere at all of them. In the recent past the CCD team has been more cooperative and the only over-the-top liturgies were in Spanish or for our parish school.

I long for the day when we all know the difference between doing something at the liturgy or doing the liturgy.

This year, these kids are doing nothing except participating in the liturgy, the liturgy itself. Even the school may have a adopted some attitude of reverence when it comes to the sacred liturgy. We shall see and I shall report later.

At any rate, it starts this weekend. There will be five celebrations over three weekends.

Here is the program for this coming Sunday. It will be very similar to what we do every Sunday at 10:00am. I eliminated a few things for copyright concerns, but you can see the essence of what is in the program, mostly ritual music.

I would be curious to see if there is any other parish in the country that even approached this kind of celebration for first Communion. Let me know.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at April 17, 2008 8:34 PM

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We aren't singing as much chant, but we have the families sign up for the Sunday liturgy of their choice. Most opt for our most traditional service (four square hymns, some chant, polyphonic motets, etc.)

We also have a policy that a child can't be 'recognized' (process in, have a special place to sit, name in the bulletin) unless that child has been a regular attendee at mass for the preceding year. This does two things, besides catechizing through the liturgy: 1) There is an expectation among children and the families about what Sunday worship is; 2) the kids are so excited about getting ready to receive the Eucharist, that there is no clamor for other 'special' things to do at mass.

I've totally stopped having the kids read or do petitions. We've gotten the procession down to a minimum (no fashion parade.) And I've never tolerated having them carry in flowers or dress the altar or do a silly song with hand gestures or something.

If a parent asks, "But isn't it going to be special?" I say, "Yes, receiving the Lord in the Eucharist is as special as it gets."

Posted by: Cathy at April 18, 2008 1:08 PM

This one seems like it's pretty over the top itself.

Posted by: Mairan Plane at April 18, 2008 4:46 PM

Hi Father. It looks great! There's a few tiny translation issues (Dominus Deus Sabaoth is "Lord God of hosts") but otherwise, it's excellent. I'm glad you are able to invite your parish to join their voices in Latin and Gregorian chant, and have them singing the responses! God bless you and your work!

Posted by: Jeff Pinyan at April 19, 2008 11:04 AM

I don't think the English translation of the Sanctus is correct. "Lord God of Sabbath?"

Posted by: Joe at April 19, 2008 3:29 PM

I'm just curious how much time and effort were required to prepare the children to sing this Liturgy?

How was it done?

Posted by: Maureen Lahiff at April 26, 2008 5:16 PM

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