Sacramental Preparation

Preparing children to receive the sacraments of First Eucharist and Reconciliation at Holy Family is a family affair involving the candidates (those receiving the sacraments), their families and the larger parish family. This means

  • Sacramental preparation sessions are done outside of and in addition to class time
  • Sacramental preparation is done in collaboration with Family Faith and HFCA.
  • Parents are integrally involved in the sacramental life of their child as teachers and mentors as well as deepen their own understanding of the sacraments.
  • Some of the components for sacramental preparation occur during our weekend liturgies involving the larger parish community.

Sacramental policies are set by the Pastor and implemented by those he delegates as catechetical leaders. Careful attention is given so that parish sacramental policy is in concert with

  • Sound sacramental theology
  • Canon (Church) Law
  • Archdiocesan Policies and Guidelines and best practices in catechesis
  • Local tradition and custom

The Catholic Church emphasizes readiness and disposition not age in the preparation for and reception of a sacrament. Readiness involves both a person’s capacity to understand the meaning of the sacrament and the commitment that preparation requires. If your family does not have the time to fully participate in the preparation process we strongly recommend you wait until the time is right. Every year we have children and adults of all ages who prepare and receive sacraments. When the time is right for you and your family we will be here to serve you.

The following are the sacramental policies at Holy Family

  1. Children preparing to receive a sacrament must have at least two years of religious education prior to the reception of the sacrament. If parents wish to have their child receive First Eucharist in the spring of second grade they must have their child enrolled by the fall of first grade; if they wish their teen be confirmed in the spring of sophomore year the teen must be enrolled in the fall of freshmen year. Holy Family provides parents with a home school option for religious education.
  2. Those with significant gaps in their formal religious education will be assessed on their knowledge and understanding of their faith, which is required by Canon Law, and if necessary asked to do additional study.

    Why? Religious education, like all educational endeavors, builds upon the mastery of foundational concepts and the development of certain skill sets. When substantive gaps exist in learning it hampers one’s ability to understand new and more complex concepts and develop the skills needed to apply what they learn.

  3. Children of school age wishing to be baptized or those in grades 4-8 who wish to complete their preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist will need to attend both Family Faith and HFCA classes and participate in the RCIC process.

    The Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIC) at Holy Family is open to all parishioners who are in need of preparation for these Sacraments and for reception into the Roman Catholic Church. The sacraments of initiation are celebrated during the Easter Season. Whether your family is just entering the church, is returning after time away, have decided as a family to delay a child’s sacramental preparation, or any other circumstance you are most welcome at Holy Family.
    The RCIC process is designed as a family process. All family members are invited to attend these sessions but at least one parent is expected to attend the RCIC sessions with their child/ren. Regular attendance at mass, participation in the eight (8) Christian initiation sessions held on Saturday evening following the 5 pm Mass and/or Sunday morning following the 11 am Mass is required. If you are interested in this program contact Dr. Peg Hanrahan at phanrahan@holyfamilyparish.org or 847-907-3431.

  4. Those baptized in another Christian Church (i.e. Lutheran, Episcopalian…) who now wish to receive First Eucharist must make a Profession of Faith. This is a matter of canon law.
  5. Disabled and/or developmentally delayed children/teens are encouraged and most welcome to receive the Sacraments. Preparation with these children is adapted to meet their needs and can be done at home in the family unit. The celebration of the sacrament can also be adapted to meet the family’s need.