Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by alan29 »

John Ainslie wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:55 am
For decades my parish has celebrated First Communions fully integrated into the Sunday morning Masses. Over two of the morning Masses over four weeks in Eastertide, from 6 to maximum 10 children make their first Communion (we have about 60 first communicants a year). They will have been expected to have taken part in one of the Masses with their parents consistently over the previous six months. Apart from the inevitable glitter, the only special feature is that the group of children are invited to stand on either side of the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer. (I think they take the Sign of Peace to their families.) As for music, they will have become familiar with the standard parish repertoire, and there is very little 'special' music for the First Communion Masses.

This arrangement takes an enormous amount of planning by the priest and catechists. But it is really worth it.
Sounds bliss.
We have round two of what many parents seem to see as the prelude to the party, p*-* up and fight.
I am minded to refuse to play in future years.

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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by High Peak »

This morning I assisted with the music for a First Holy Communion Mass in a neighbouring parish. About 12 minutes before Mass was due to start, the PP took command in quelling the loud conversation in the unusually-full church by commencing a decade of the Rosary along with other devotional prayers. Although a temporary quite did descend upon the church, it rather reminded me of my school days when prayers were used as a form of social control. In the 3-4 minutes between the end of those prayers and the Entrance Procession, the noise levels did rise significantly. The behaviour during the Mass was actually pretty good.
But, for some reason of which I am not aware, all the readings of the day (The Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ) were replaced with others. It's a good job I was at my own parish's Vigil Mass, otherwise I would wonder whether I had fulfilled my Sunday Obligation! :lol:

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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by VML »

How bizarre; you would think that Corpus Christi readings were the most apt for FHC, though it does depend on which year.

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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by MaryR »

alan29 wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 12:39 pm
Now I was under the impression that the bishops had said that First Communion preparation was to happen in the parish not in the school, so that it was a parish event rather than a school event - "Its your class this year getting done." Does this actually happen anywhere?
We have had preparation in the parish for about 25 years, until this year. A new PP and new head teacher combination has resulted in it going back into school where they ‘do’ the RE module on It. Where’s the passing on of the faith in that? 😡 I’ve missed being involved with the preparation this year but I swallowed my annoyance and invited the FHC families to come and spend an afternoon exploring the church. We spent a lovely afternoon together and the parents were very appreciative. We had a little prayer service during which we used some of the music for the FHC Mass, introducing it to the parents.

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Re: Involving visitors - music of First Holy Communion

Post by sjgc »

Thanks to everyone for the helpful and insightful comments. As our parish 2020 First Holy Communion programme starts shortly, I am reminded to make a note of what we actually did, having started this post in 2019.

So we did do a good, welcoming booklet with as much of the music as we could (dots and words). We also went with the sprinkling rite and I felt it was a good decision; a lovely, simple but powerful rite that people could be part of.

We also spent five minutes before Mass from the lectern teaching / reminding the Alleluia, the music for the sprinkling and the “refrain” from the Gloria - and generally welcoming people. I scripted this and our pianist had a copy, so it was warm yet succinct and looked well-organised, I think.

I think it all had a positive impact. Thank you again for the various pointers. Wishing you all the very best for 2020!

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