The latest COVID lockdown has disrupted our plans for the celebration of First Eucharist across our parishes. Our Year 5 students and their families have been waiting for over a year to celebrate First Eucharist. The latest lockdown coincided with the rescheduled date for 2021. So, like many things in life these days, we will reschedule again. Our priority over the next couple of months will be to ensure that the Year 5 students have the opportunity to celebrate First Eucharist. At this point, that date has been set for Sunday, 20 June. If we have number and density restrictions in our churches, we will need to spread the celebrations over a number of months. We will be in touch with all families as these details are finalised. Our Year 4 students will then be rescheduled once all our Year 5 students have received First Eucharist.
Likewise, we are looking to offer Confirmation for our 2020 Year 6 students who also missed out on receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. These celebrations are planned for the end of July and the beginning of August. Families will be notified as soon as we can lock in dates and numbers.
In the meantime, we continue to welcome new members to our community through the Sacrament of Baptism. A number of families have already celebrated this sacrament across our parishes, with many having rescheduled from last year. The number of weddings is also on the increase, as the 2020 lockdown meant that many weddings were rescheduled, not only once but sometimes twice or even three times!
What has become clear over the last year is that the sacraments draw us back to ourselves, whether it be the weekly celebration of the Eucharist, the initiation sacraments or the Sacrament of Marriage. In the sacraments, we find that we really do join our lives with the person of Jesus Christ who offers us nourishment, hope, forgiveness, new beginnings and solidarity with one another and the human family.
We should pray for all those who will come to the sacraments this year. They become a sacrament for us too, as they live out the faith that is strengthened within them through these celebrations.
By Fr Brendan Reed