First communion music

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alan29
Posts: 1043
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: First communion music

Post by alan29 » Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:33 pm

High Peak wrote:
Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:43 pm
alan29 wrote:
Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:28 pm
High Peak wrote:
Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:17 pm
Sorry..................I mean "no".
Why not?
Is the whole thing left to the school by any chance?
Two parish catechists.
Then it really is down to the PP.
Its his job for goodness sake!

Becky
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:08 pm
Parish / Diocese: St Richard - Chichester - Arundel and Brighton

Re: First communion music

Post by Becky » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:30 am

Our FHC Masses used to be depressing affairs at which no one sang and few beyond the choir and catechists had much idea what was going on, despite good catechesis for the children, but they have been transformed by two things:

First, several years ago we stopped having One Big, Extra, Special FHC Mass and split the children into groups, receiving at normal Sunday Masses, still tailored for FHC, over several weeks, so they and their families are surrounded and supported by the usual congregation. Yes, it means you can't have the one, big party on FHC day but people got over that pretty quickly.

Second, this year the catechists began family catechesis using the Growing Up Catholic programme, in which catechists facilitate and guide but a parent/guardian/etc has to be with their child at every session and, with help, it's they who teach their own children. If the parents don't have much understanding at the outset then they learn together and it takes seriously the promises they made at Baptism. It's been amazing both in terms of the children's engagement and understanding (remarked upon by a surprised and delighted grandparent at this Sunday's Mass) but also because parents are asking for ways they can develop their own faith. When it was suggested the children come for a second Reconcilation just before their FHC day, most did AND so did some parents and grandparents! At least one non-Catholic parent is seriously enquiring.
Numbers are down, as anticipated, but it's expected that most of these children will actually make their second and third Communions, not vanish after their first.

alan29
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: First communion music

Post by alan29 » Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:04 am

Great stuff.

User avatar
VML
Posts: 667
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 12:57 am
Parish / Diocese: Clifton Diocese
Location: Glos

Re: First communion music

Post by VML » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:41 am

Excellent.

High Peak
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:49 pm
Parish / Diocese: Diocese of Nottingham
Location: Derbyshire

Re: First communion music

Post by High Peak » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:15 pm

[quote=alan29 Then it really is down to the PP.
Its his job for goodness sake!
[/quote]

One of several present battles! :wink:

quaeritor
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: oxfordshire

Re: First communion music

Post by quaeritor » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:47 pm

Becky wrote:
Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:30 am
Our FHC Masses used to be depressing affairs . . .
What an inspiring post, Becky - I've been "off watch" as far as the forum is concerned for some time for reasons some happy, some sad, but having just wrestled with something unrelated on the infernal machine I thought I'd have a minute to catch up - and how good to find someone doing something that WORKS! :D - cheered me up treat!

(I'll go and look at some other threads now and see if I can get grumpy again. :( )

Q.

alan29
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Location: Wirral

Re: First communion music

Post by alan29 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:54 am

At ours the school has 1st Communion Masses on two consecutive saturdays, while the parish kids are on the final Sunday.
Played at the school one today. It was introduced by the Head telling the parents that the Mass was all about the children .............. facepalm.

High Peak
Posts: 142
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:49 pm
Parish / Diocese: Diocese of Nottingham
Location: Derbyshire

Re: First communion music

Post by High Peak » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:16 pm

alan29 wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:54 am
At ours the school has 1st Communion Masses on two consecutive saturdays, while the parish kids are on the final Sunday.
Played at the school one today. It was introduced by the Head telling the parents that the Mass was all about the children .............. facepalm.
I have recently had occasion to assist a primary head teacher with liturgy.

"Despair" doesn't do justice to how I felt at the end of it.

Southern Comfort
Posts: 1785
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 12:31 pm

Re: First communion music

Post by Southern Comfort » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:51 pm

High Peak wrote:
Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:16 pm
alan29 wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:54 am
At ours the school has 1st Communion Masses on two consecutive saturdays, while the parish kids are on the final Sunday.
Played at the school one today. It was introduced by the Head telling the parents that the Mass was all about the children .............. facepalm.
I have recently had occasion to assist a primary head teacher with liturgy.

"Despair" doesn't do justice to how I felt at the end of it.
And that names the problem, which is that often head and deputy heads think they "own" the liturgy, just because they are in high-level admin positions.(It's even worse in secondary schools.) Anything which tends to show up just how ignorant they are about liturgy in general is viewed as a tremendous threat. They dictate what wil happen, even when their heads of RE might (sometimes, but by no means always) know better. And yes, it's all about the children. Not about God or even Jesus.

The thing is, it's not their liturgy, it's not the children's liturgy, it's the Church's liturgy. And if the parish is the locale, it's the parish's liturgy.

There's a huge difference between a liturgy that is accessible to children and one which is intent upon giving every child something to do; one that provides prayers, readings and singing which are accessible to all, adults as well as children, and one that dumbs down to the umpteenth degree; one that engages the celebrating community in genuine prayer and one that showcases the children and their gifts.

I've even had to explain to teachers, and not just heads, in the past that the readings don't come after the symbolic action but before, because that is the shape of all liturgy. God speaks and we respond. But they just won't be told. "Oh, Father X let us do this last time." — Father X, who is totally unable to relate to children, is of course pathetically grateful for anything that he thinks will help him to survive the ordeal and so does not stand on any principles of celebration.

And so it goes on.

alan29
Posts: 1043
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 8:04 pm
Location: Wirral

Re: First communion music

Post by alan29 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:29 am

Simplest solution is to do all sacramental preparation in the parish and none of it in the school.

oopsorganist
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Location: Leeds

Re: First communion music

Post by oopsorganist » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:02 pm

My ex parish used to do the prep and keep a note of who attended as well - at least the families came to Mass for that preparation time.
I have accidentally been to two HC Masses the last two weeks. In different churches. The first was OK ish and not hi jacked too badly - just seemed a normal kind of Mass really with the addition of some children in white. The second, today, was a big hi jack.
At least one parishioner turned round and went home when they could not get into the car park.
Why do we have these little ones doing the reading and bidding prayers. On how many other occasions does it seem appropriate to have children doing this task? What does this say about what we believe about this role of reader or prayer leader, in the usual routines of service?
At least the poor little mites were not made to sing as well as make their Baptism vows again and so on. They had to bring stuff up to the altar after the Offertory hymn and the teacher stood up and explained each item. "Our gifts we bring". La la.
So then at the end of Mass some of the poor little ones had to get up and read out a "What I have learned" speech. A smaller child near me began to make loud raspberry noises so I didn't hear most of it. I did look around to check that OFMASS weren't in the place! Then the presentations and clapping as per usual.
All very well prepared and well meant.
Such pressure on everyone.
Music? Standard hymns - missed the first hymn as I was busy in the car park hell. Nice choir singing all the right bits in the right places. Little congregational response to this.
You have to wonder what the occasional visitor or non church goer would make of it all. It makes me cringe every time.
uh oh!

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