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San Juan First Communicants have the right to receive Jesus

A choir of celestial voices emanated from St John the Baptist RC Church, San Juan on November 10 as 25 children made their First Communion.

Fr Curtis Gaston Poyer thoroughly explained the significance of the five aspects of the Holy Mass. They are: Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, Communion Rite, and Concluding Rites.

“I have heard people saying that they are going to Mass. We must rephrase this and say that we are going to participate and celebrate in the Mass of the Holy Eucharist. There is a lot of doxology integrated in the Mass,” said Fr Poyer.

During the homily Fr Poyer also touched on the Fundamental Human Rights and the Rights of a Child. First Communicants eagerly raised their hands to answer Father as he quizzed them on the Rights of a Child: the right to an education, shelter, freedom of speech, to play, to have one’s cultural beliefs (regardless of race or religion) and the freedom to express oneself without fear of ridicule.

Fr Poyer explained that there are many people who fought for these rights. “We always had them but not everyone wanted to recognise them.”

He also distinguished the difference between ‘rite’ and ‘right’.

‘Right’ can be defined as being in accordance with accepted standards of moral or legal behaviour while ‘rite’ is a formal act customary in religious ceremonies (New Edition Concise English Dictionary).

“From today you are going to have one more right, the right to receive Jesus Christ, His body and blood. Wherever you may go to Mass in the world, whether it be France or China and the priest or Eucharistic Minister may comment that you are too young to receive the body and blood of Christ all you have to say is, ‘I made my First Communion’. It is a right that no-one can take away from you.”

Nolberta Isaac-Adams, one of the new catechists was asked about her experience in preparing the First Communicants. She said, “It was a challenge and a good experience to prepare these 25 children to receive their first Holy Communion. I have grown from this experience developing patience. It took a lot of time and effort because we wanted the children to fully understand the significance of their actions on this amazing day and it is safe to say that they are well informed.”

The dedicated catechists who ensured that the children were fully prepared are: Charles Oliveire, Heather Thomas, Kelsha Charles, Alicia Britto, Riaz Mohammed and they were assisted by Josefina Mohammed, Xahria Thomas and Aunty Susan. —Tenisha Sylvester