After having left the Catholic Church for several years, and now having returned, our older children have begun to process of "catching up". They have worked hard through materials and readings this year to prepare themselves. They have also done a great amount of soul searching and and preparation within their own hearts. They have prayed that God prepare their hearts, minds, and souls for these days. And God has answered - granting them understanding that is, at times, well beyond their years.
Last weekend they each went to Confession for the first time. Our priest was very helpful with both instruction and with encouragement. Each of the children understood well the Sacrament itself, and understand now how it is vital to the daily Walk With Christ. They were each a tiny-bit nervous to begin with, but afterwards agreed that Confession "felt" quite natural and not at all a struggle. They have all spoken since about the impressions on their hearts, and about the "stirrings" within their minds.
Cherub 1, Cherub 2, and Cherub 3 will have their First Holy Communion Mass this weekend. They are prepared and understand the importance of this sacrament. Last evening was the rehearsal (who walks where and when). Today we will go to the church to turn in their projects - each child made a Candle Wrap with grapes and wheat representing the Body (Host) and the Blood (Wine). They also each made a First Communion Banner (each child makes one). These banners traditionally are attached together and are displayed in the church during the First Communion Mass. After the Mass is over, the banners are returned to the individual children to take home. We have decided to frame them and put them in each of their bedrooms - as a reminder of this very special time. The banners themselves are quite lovely, but the planning and dialogue of making them was truly incredible. As a parent, it is so precious to be able to know the "deeper" thoughts of one's children pertaining to their faith and their level of understanding. Traditionally, First Communion is part of 2nd Grade studies. But with our children being a bit older now, I actually am most impressed with the seriousness and deep consideration that they have experienced these past few monthes.
Please pray for our 3 older cherubs tomorrow on this very special day.
Photos above of the Banners and Candle Wraps the children made. (We will post photos from their First Communion Mass in a few days.)