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First Communion at Carapichaima

‘This little light of mine’ was the song the 20 First Communion candidates sang as they exited the Our Lady of Mt Carmel RC Church, Carapichaima holding lights in their hands to symbolise and action out what they had just experienced—the physical reception of Jesus for the first time!

The journey began in October 2017 and ended in June. For me it was really different having a class with children so young. For the past ten years or so, I have been teaching the post-Communion/Pre- Confirmation class and I was now treading on dangerously new ground.

I was ably assisted by four catechists and it took all of us to get the notes in the book right, organise games around the theme we were teaching, help with the related art and craft, teach songs and generally be there to keep an eye on this gypsy age group.

Our teaching focused a lot, naturally, on the Eucharist—as Meal, as Sacrifice, as Family, as Gathering, as Jesus. We wanted to focus on getting our young ones convinced that what they were receiving was Jesus Himself.

In the First Communion Mass, we kept the sacredness of the occasion at the forefront by disallowing any photographs near the sanctuary. We hired a professional photographer and he took the only pictures. This allowed for minimal movement and a focus on the Man of the Moment – Jesus. The parents were allowed to take photos from where they sat.

Because the numbers were small, 18 and two from the Confirmation Class, every child took part in the liturgy and the prize giving afterwards. This was important to us, the catechists, and I’m sure, to the parents. All parents feel good knowing their child was chosen to do something on this special occasion.

So, to all the children who just made First Communion, and your parents and guardians, I want to say that your journey has just begun. We are a parish with continuous formation and we have a post-communion class for you to go into before beginning your Confirmation journey.

Keep Jesus inside you always and keep coming to Mass every weekend so you will continue to meet Him and be guided by Him throughout your life! Thank you for blessing my heart over the last year! – Natasha Lamy-Ramsden, catechist