Instruction for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist is family based. Although support is given in the classroom during the regularly scheduled Faith Formation classes and in the school setting, parents are the primary teachers for these sacraments. This is in keeping with the Code of Canon Law #914, which states:
It is the responsibility, in the first place, of parents and those who take the place of parents as well as of the pastor to see that children who have reached the age of reason are correctly prepared and are nourished by the divine food as early as possible, preceded by sacramental confession.
A two year preparation program for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist begins in the first grade. In accordance with canon law, the Archdiocese of Washington states that the reception of First Reconciliation must precede the reception of First Eucharist. Neither the pastor nor the director of Faith Formation has any vested powers to change Archdiocesan policies.
Parents are expected to attend all sacramental meetings. The Faith Formation Office will give out textbooks to parents only at the sacramental meetings. Prior to the celebration of each sacrament, students will be evaluated during their regularly scheduled classes.
A copy (not original) of the student’s Baptismal Certificate is required for all other sacraments. Please make sure the issuing parish address is visible on the certificate; this is critical for the notification process.