For school aged children
Who is the program for?
The Adelaide Cathedral Family Parish Sacrament Program is for school aged children (6 years and up) preparing to celebrate the sacraments of Christian initiation in the Catholic tradition:
- First Holy Communion
Full reception into the Catholic Church (if baptised in another Christian tradition)
this program has been developed in line with the current archdiocesan policy and guidelines. It has been adapted from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and encompasses the seasons and feasts of the liturgical year; Ordinary Time, Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter, see Preparation Schedule for this year below.
Why is it called Family Parish Sacrament Program?
This program is a family and community based program that values the role of parents as the first educators of faith and family as the basic building block of all community. In an informal way, parents have already been sharing faith and teaching their children about the values of the kingdom of God through their loving and nurturing.
The initiation of children into the sacramental life is for the most part the responsibility and concern of Christian parents. They are to form and gradually increase a spirit of faith in the children and, with the help of catechetical institutions, prepare them for the fruitful reception of the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist. The role of the parents is also expressed by their active participation in the celebration of the Sacraments.
During this time of preparation and celebration, it is also important that families have the support of their parish community who will pray for the children and celebrate their becoming more fully members of the Church, the "Body of Christ".
In preparing for the program, families are required to:
- Join the community at Sunday Mass most Sundays with their regular worshipping community at one of the parish worship centres.
- Participate in six 90 minute family workshops at a central venue.
- If their children were already baptised as infants, help their children to celebrate their first experience of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (formerly known as Confession) in the season of Lent
- Come to the rehearsal in preparation for the celebration.
In developing this program every effort has been made to avoid public holiday weekends and school holidays. 'Family time is sacred time'!
The requirement and the role of a Sponsor
Ordinarily there should be a sponsor for each of those to be confirmed. The sponsor brings the candidate to receive the Sacrament, presents them to the minister for the anointing, and will later help them to fulfil their baptismal promises faithfully under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
It is desirable that the godparent at Baptism, if present, also be the sponsor at Confirmation. But the choice of a special sponsor for Confirmation is not excluded. The Church says a sponsor should be spiritually qualified and mature, should belong to the Catholic Church and should have been initiated in the three Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
When choosing a sponsor for your child, there are some requirements/considerations to keep in mind:
- Is the person a Confirmed Catholic?
- Are they over the age of 16 years?
- Are they a witness to the Christian faith?
- Will they be able to participate in at least some of the program as well as the celebration?
- Will they continue to be a part of your child's life as they grow up?
If the child's godparent/s is available this would be a preferable choice for a Confirmation sponsor as Confirmation completes our Baptism.
Parents cannot be sponsors! They have the unique and primary role of raising their children in the faith of the Church and discerning their readiness to prepare to celebrate the sacraments of initiation.
When will the celebrations take place?
- Children who have not been baptised as infants will celebrate the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion on the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday (Easter Vigil) if that service is being offered at your worship centre. If not, it will be celebrated on Easter Sunday morning.
- Children who have been baptised as infants in a different Christian tradition will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church, called the Rite of Acceptance, and celebrate the Sacraments of Confirmation and their First Holy Communion on the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday (Easter Vigil) if that service is being offered at your worship centre. If not, it will be celebrated on Easter Sunday morning.
- Children who have been baptised as infants in the Catholic tradition will celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) in the season of Lent, and celebrate their Confirmation on a weekday evening with the Archbishop at the Cathedral and then celebrate their First Holy Communion on one of the following Sundays in the season of Easter with their own worshipping community.
Appointments for interviews should be booked as soon as possible. Interviews will be made from about September through to November each year.
What is next?
- Download guidelines and gorms below, and print them
- Register and call the Sacrament Program Coordinator for a meeting, to ensure your family understands the program and how it runs and for the coordinator to be aware of any special needs or resources your family may require in order to participate in the program.
- Bring the following items with you for the interview
- Registration Form and Consent Form, filled in as much as possible.
- Copy of Baptism Certificate, wherever possible. If your children were baptised within the Adelaide Cathedral Parish, please click here to obtain a copy of your Baptism Certificate.
- Wherever possible bring the payment / Cash / Cheque / Credit Card.
Registration for Family Parish Sacrament Program
Parents wishing to enrol their child in the Family Parish Sacrament Program can contact the Pastoral Associate, Debbie Ripley, click here for details.
Our Sacramental Program Coordinator will stay in touch for:
- Coming events
- Celebration of sacraments
- Major dates and seasons
- Reminders of events