Welcome to the Sacramental Preparation Program!
An Understanding of the Sacraments
“The saving words and deeds of Jesus Christ are the foundation of what he would communicate in the Sacraments through the ministers of the Church. Guided by the Holy Spirit, the Church recognizes the existence of Seven Sacraments instituted by the Lord. They are the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist), the Sacraments of Healing (Penance/Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick), and the Sacraments at the Service of Communion (Marriage and Holy Orders). Through the Sacraments, God shares his holiness with us so that we, in turn, can make the world holier” (USCCB.org).
“We recognize that the Sacraments have a visible and invisible reality, a reality open to all the human senses but grasped in its God-given depths with the eyes of faith. When parents hug their children, for example, the visible reality we see is the hug. The invisible reality the hug conveys is love. We cannot “see” the love the hug expresses, though sometimes we can see its nurturing effect in the child” (USCCB.org).
Preparing to receive the sacraments is a unique and spiritually enriching time in a person’s life. Full of meaningful moments, the experience creates special opportunities for the entire family to affirm and celebrate their faith. The Most Precious Blood Faith Formation Team has developed programs and uses resources to encourage and guide our parents as they prepare their children for the sacraments. We see ourselves as partners in the journey of faith!
Children’s Sacramental Preparation
The Church has long held that parents/guardians are the primary educators of their children. Parents, with the support of the pastor and the Faith Formation team, are responsible for preparing their children for the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and Confirmation & First Communion in the Restored Order. This is a time of obvious growth in faith for children, but also an opportunity for parents to renew and deepen their personal faith as they engage in this process with their children.
Don’t worry, we won’t leave you on your own! During the mandatory parent meetings, we will offer some basic sacramental understanding as well as resources to guide your child through the sacramental preparation. Throughout the course of the year, we offer experiential rituals to enrich your home preparation through a shared experience with other families. We also believe that our daily family life experiences are the basis for sacramental formation – we experience the graces of the Sacraments as part of the “domestic church”.
Sacrament formation is a parish sponsored process offered to the families of baptized children who are currently involved in our FAITH Program (MPB’s family-based religious education program). If you are a registered member of Most Precious Blood Parish, you may register your child to celebrate the sacraments. To register as a member of MPB Parish, please click here. Children must be enrolled in the FAITH program AND participate in an additional program to prepare for the sacraments.
Sacramental Preparation at MPB: 2 Year Program
In the past, FAITH (the family-based religious education program at MPB) has been viewed as a program offered to parish families whose children do not attend Catholic school. However, FAITH is a parish sponsored program, meaning it is open to all families registered in our parish, regardless of where children attend school. FAITH provides an opportunity for families to journey together – through prayer, activity, and discussion – as they grow in their understanding of and participation in our Catholic identity. FAITH is a mandatory component of the sacramental preparation process for children who do not attend Catholic school and participation is strongly encouraged for those children who do attend Catholic school.
In 2018-19, Sacramental Preparation for First Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Communion became a 2-year program. In accordance with the mandate from the Archdiocese of Denver, MPB has transitioned into celebrating the Restored Order of the Sacraments of Initiation. This means that children celebrate their First Reconciliation in the fall of Year 1 (typically in the second grade). In the spring of Year 1, children will begin preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation, followed by First Eucharist in Year 2 (typically in third grade). In the spring of Year 2, the Rite of Confirmation precedes the celebration of First Communion within the same ceremony. At MPB, our 2-year program for the preparation and celebration of these sacraments looks like this:
- Year 1 (typically 2nd Grade):
- Families register for FAITH and Year 1 of Sacramental Preparation (First Reconciliation) in July or August.
- In the fall of Year 1, baptized children prepare for and celebrate their First Reconciliation.
- In the spring of Year 1, families will begin working through the Confirmation component of the in-home study program.
- Year 2 (typically 3rd Grade):
- Families register for FAITH and Year 2 of Sacramental Preparation (Confirmation & First Communion) in July or August.
- Children and their families will continue working with Confirmation while beginning their study on the Eucharist in preparation for their Confirmation & First Communion Mass in the spring. The exact dates for those celebrations will be determined by the Archdiocese and should be available to us by early fall.
For families with children over the age of 7 who are not baptized and are looking to begin the faith formation and sacramental preparation process, please contact Kristen Kraus, a member of the Faith Formation Team, at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the Baptism page on our website.
All questions regarding children’s sacrament preparation may be directed to Kristen Kraus (email@example.com), a member of the Faith Formation Team.