This two-year program begins in the fall of the Grade 1 year and prepares children to receive the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion in the spring of the Grade 2 year. General program details and requirements are below – specific details about this year’s sacraments will be posted on the Religious Education Menu to the right when they are available.
All Students – Grade 1 and Grade 2
Grade 1 students may attend Religious Education classes and/or participate in a Cluster Program or the Project Nazareth program. Grade 2 students must attend Religious Education classes.
All sacramental preparation Grade 1 and Grade 2 students must go to Mass regularly. When attending Mass at the Collaborative students will bring their attendance card and take a sticker from the Religious Ed bulletin board to go on the card. Attendance at an outside parish must be reported via the Grade 1 & 2: Report Mass Attendance link.
Proof of Baptism
A baptismal certificate for all candidates must be on file prior to the reception of the sacraments. Students who were not baptized at St. John or St. Paul should submit a copy of their baptismal certificate by November 1st. A copy of the certificate can be uploaded at the time of registration, on the website using the Upload Baptismal Certificate link, or sent to the Religious Education Office at: SJSP Collaborative Religious Education Office, 39 Washington Street Wellesley, MA 02481.
Grade 1 Students
Along with the first year preparation for the sacraments our Grade 1 students participate in the Christmas Pageant held at the Family Mass usually the Sunday before Christmas (the exact date will always be reflected on the Religious Ed calendar.) There are no speaking roles but there are primary roles that are chosen by lottery. Any student interested in a primary role must attend the Saturday rehearsal. An invitation to sign up for a role will go out in November and roles will be selected in early December. Costumes are provided for all participants.
Grade 2 Students
Our ceremony will be held on a Friday evening in November and usually lasts for 30 – 45 minutes. If your student is not available for our regularly scheduled ceremony we will follow up after the ceremony with make-up options. We practice with the students at the class immediately preceding the ceremony, there is no special rehearsal scheduled outside of regular class time. There is no assigned seating, families are free to sit where they want as they arrive. The students will make candles in class to use at the end of the ceremony. They will pick up candles at the back of the church as they arrive and can take them home after the ceremony.
We schedule two First Communion ceremonies on a Saturday morning in the Spring at 9:00 and 11:30 am and they usually last for 75 – 90 minutes. If your family is unable to attend the ceremony as scheduled please contact Linda Messore at Linda.Messore@sjspwellesley.org to coordinate another option for your child to receive the sacrament.
The celebration is designed to support the faith, comfort and confidence of the students while also promoting a valued sense of shared community. Keeping these important goals in mind, assigning classes as a whole to either the 9:00 am or 11:30 am Mass also attempts to balance the number of people in the church in an effort to ensure a more personal, spiritual experience for each family. We ask that familial requests (cousins etc.) to be in the same ceremony be submitted by December 31st so they can be accommodated prior to ceremony assignments being completed.
Families will receive notification of their ceremony assignment in January. Once assignments are made requests to be considered for a different ceremony will be reviewed. Requests identifying the extraordinary circumstance necessitating reconsideration must be submitted by February 28 via email to Linda Messore at Linda.Messore@sjspwellesley.org or via postal mail to the Religious Education Office at: SJSP Religious Education Office, 39 Washington Street Wellesley, MA 02481. Ceremony reassignments will be confirmed by March 15th.
Students sit with their families in an assigned pew, marked by a banner made in class, which is determined by lottery after all assignments and re-assignments are complete. Banners can be taken home after the ceremony. Cousins and/or related families will be assigned pews adjacent to one another. Those families who request a ceremony change, other than familial requests, will not be eligible for the lottery but will be allotted the next subsequent pew after lottery seating is assigned.
There is one specific rehearsal date outside of class time scheduled for each of the ceremonies the week before the ceremonies. Students are required to attend the appropriate rehearsal to be adequately prepared for this very special sacrament.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Please contact Linda Messore at firstname.lastname@example.org.