First Reconciliation: Year 1 of Sacramental Preparation

Registration for 2019-2020 programming will open on July 15, 2019.

First Reconciliation in the Catholic Church

Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church. The Sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation) is God’s gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven. In confession, we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins. With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28) (USCCB.org).

PROGRAMMING FOR YEAR 1 OF SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION (First Reconciliation)

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 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 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 First Communion & Confirmation Mass in the spring. The exact dates for those celebrations are determined by the Archdiocese and should be available to us by early fall.

Year 1 of Sacramental Preparation Participation Guidelines

  • Registration is open to all baptized MPB youth 2nd grade or above who have not yet celebrated their First Reconciliation AND
  • Who are enrolled in the FAITH program AND
  • Who attend Family Service Sundays AND
  • Whose parents attend the scheduled parent meetings (fall and spring) AND
  • Whose families are registered members of MPB Parish AND
  • Who register and pay the fee for Year 1 (First Reconciliation) by August 31, 2019 AND
  • Who attend the First Reconciliation Ritual in the fall AND
  • Who complete all at-home preparation and assignments!

Preparing your child to celebrate the Sacrament of First Reconciliation

As 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. In September, parents will attend one of two offered parent meetings to receive the materials and training necessary to help with preparation for First Reconciliation. During the preparation time, parents and students are required to participate in an experiential ritual in the fall which breaks open the significance of the Sacrament of Reconciliation as it relates to God’s love and mercy in our daily lives. After students have worked through the sacramental workbooks with parents, they will celebrate the Rite of First Reconciliation in the beginning of Advent.

Required Dates for Year 1 of Sacramental Preparation

  • Parents attend one of the mandatory parent meetings in the fall.  This meeting will last about an hour and a half.
    • Wednesday, September 11 at 6:30 PM  in the church OR
    • Saturday, September 14 at 9:30 AM in the church.
  • Families attend FAITH Sunday Gatherings, if registered for the FAITH program.
  • FALL 2019: Parents and children work at home in the First Reconciliation book.
  • Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 9:00 AM:  Parents and children attend a Ritual of First Reconciliation in the church.
  • Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 10:00 AM: Families attend Family Service Sunday in the gym.
  • Saturday, December 7, 2019 beginning at 9:00 AM: Parents and children attend the Rite of First Reconciliation in the church.  Children are scheduled in 30 minute increments by last name.
  • Parents attend one of the mandatory parent meetings in the spring.  This meeting will last about an hour and a half.
    • Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 9:00 AM in the church OR
    • Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 6:30 PM in the church
  • Sunday, April 5, 2020 at 10:00 AM:  Families attend Family Service Sunday in the gym.
  • July 2020: At the conclusion of Year 1, families will receive an email with the link to register for Year 2 of Sacramental Preparation (Confirmation & First Communion).

Registration Link and Fee Information

Sacramental preparation is a parish sponsored process. Baptized children whose families are registered members of MPB may register for Year 1 of Sacramental Preparation (First Reconciliation). If your child is not baptized, please reach out to Kristen Kraus in the Faith Formation Team (kkraus@mpbdenver.org) to discuss how to proceed with the sacramental registration process.

Registration is open from July 15-August 31, 2019. As stated above, children must be enrolled in the FAITH program AND participate in an additional program to prepare for First Reconciliation.

The registration fees for the FAITH program and Year 1 of Sacramental Preparation (First Reconciliation) is a tiered process:

2019 FAITH Registration Fees:

Early Registration: July 15-August 15 – $85 for the first child; $125 family rate (2 or more children)

Standard Registration: August 16-August 31 – $95 for the first child; $140 family rate (2 or more children)

Late Registration: September 1-6 – $105 for the first child; $150 family rate (2 or more children)

2019 Year 1 of Sacramental Preparation (First Reconciliation) Registration Fees:

Standard Registration: July 15-August 31 – $50 per child

Late Registration: September 1-6 – $55 per child

We do not want the cost of the programs to inhibit participation. Scholarship funds are available. If you are unable to pay the fees for these programs, please contact Kristen Kraus.

Registration has closed for 2019-2020.  If you missed registration and would like to participate in sacramental preparation programming at MPB, please contact  Kristen Kraus (kkraus@mpbdenver.org).