First Eucharist and Reconciliation
The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. (CCC 1324)
A Family Experience
Preparing our children for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion is a spiritual, family experience. Through the preparation process, participants will grow in their sense of community, deepen their understanding of the sacramental rites, and express their understanding in a faithful response. It is a chance for parents and siblings to grow and deepen faith.
Sacraments of Belonging
These “first” sacraments are celebrated with the faith community in which the entire family worships and belongs so that it is a catalyst for a family to more deeply connect with their parish, nurture their involvement, and establish relationships with other parish families and households that will be sustaining for the whole family in the years after the celebration of a sacrament.
1st Eucharist and Confession Process
Preparing for First Eucharist or First Holy Communion is a very special time for your child. At Saint Francis Parish, our sacramental preparation is considered to be a family program and is designed to take place in the midst of the community of the faithful. While teachers give religious instruction, this program involves parent participation. It includes parent enrichment meetings, retreats for the children, family activities, liturgical celebrations, and a home study component for parents and children to work together.
Please note: The Diocese of Arlington requires at least two years of consecutive Faith Formation, whether in a Catholic parochial school or parish Faith Formation program, prior to the celebration of the Sacraments.
Preparation Goals for Children
- To develop a deeper understanding, appreciation and active participation in the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation
- To understand the major symbols of the sacrament and their meaning: the bread and wine.
- To foster personal spiritual growth as well as participate in communal worship.
- To encourage a sense of discipleship and life of service both within the parish community and the wider community.
- To develop a life-long commitment to regular Confession and prayer.
For more information about sacramental preparation, please email Sheila Noble or call at 703-221-4044 (ext. 238)
Frequently Asked Questions
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When will the Sacraments be celebrated?
Traditionally we celebrate First Confession in late January/early February. First Holy communion is celebrated in late April or early May as a concluding celebration of the year.
How can I register my children for preparation of the sacraments.
The preparation process is part of the on-going Religious Education program here at St. Francis – however we do ask that you also additionally register for this program as there are special communications and retreats associated with the process.
My child was in Sacramental Preparation at another parish. Can they join your program?
Yes. If your son or daughter is joining mid-year, our Director of Faith Formation will consult with the parents in order to best place the child. A letter from the parish where the child was attending should be obtained and included with the registration paperwork.