Details and Requirements (2020-2021)
All sacramental preparation Grade 2 students should be familiar with the parts of the Mass and the readings, prayers and rituals that take place during the celebrations of the Liturgy and Eucharist in preparation to receive the sacraments. In normal times this would require attending Mass regularly. With the suspension of the obligation and the limited access to Mass that may be difficult for some families. While we encourage our students who are preparing for their sacraments to attend Mass we understand that just may not be possible. To that end we have come up with activities, in addition to attending Mass, that we think will lend themselves to helping the students learn about these aspects of Mass and prepare them to receive the sacraments (Writing a prayer, depicting a Gospel reading with a picture etc.). Students will be asked to complete these activities to earn points towards the goal of 100 points by the end of the year to satisfy that requirement.
Proof of Baptism
A baptismal certificate for all candidates must be on file prior to the reception of the sacrament. 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 Religious Ed website or sent to the Religious Education Office at: St. John St. Paul Collaborative Religious Education Office, 39 Washington Street Wellesley, MA 02481.
Our ceremony will be held on a Friday evening in March, in the hopes that gathering restrictions will be loosened, 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. More details will be provided in the month preceding 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 by February 1st. 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 28th via email to Linda Messore at Linda.Messore@sjspwellesley.org or via postal mail to the Religious Education Office at: St. John St. Paul Collaborative 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.