RESTORED ORDER OF THE SACRAMENTS
First Reconciliation, Confirmation & First Eucharist Preparation for 2nd, 3rd and 4th Grade.
For those children entering 2nd, 3rd or 4th grade who have already been baptized Catholic, this 2-year Fall through Spring Program prepares 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade children for three Sacraments:
Year 1 is preparation and reception of First Reconciliation. Year 2 is preparation and reception of BOTH Confirmation and First Eucharist. (If your child has not been Baptized, or was baptized in another Christian denomination, please refer to the RCIA program for further information.) This process is commonly referred to with the shorter term: Restored Order.
Deadline for Restored Order registration is October 8th. We encourage families to register for Restored Order when they register for their concurrent enrollment to meet the deadline for Faith Formation registration on August 31st.
Religious Education Class Requirements
Parent Meeting Requirements
YEAR 1: Preparation for First Reconciliation
We begin in the Fall of Year 1 with an introductory Parent Meeting. At this meeting, we discuss the entire two-year process, distribute books for Reconciliation preparation, and give out the schedule for Year 1. It is crucial for everyone to be registered by the deadline to make sure enough materials are available.
After registering, parents attend just one of the Information Meeting meetings in the Fall: Dates and times to be announced.
Parents then work with their child at home using a book to first prepare the child to specifically receive their First Reconciliation during Lent. Parents also attend three workshops with their child which include hands-on activities and demonstrations, furthering the children’s preparation. Two additional Parent Meetings disseminate Ceremony details and Sacrament theology at an adult level.
YEAR 2: Preparation for Confirmation and First Eucharist
This same group of parents reconvenes in Fall of Year 2 to now begin specific preparation for BOTH Confirmation and First Eucharist. Fall preparation will concentrate on Confirmation and Spring will concentrate on Eucharist. This is a total of four Parent Meetings and four Parent/Child Workshops for the whole year. Both Sacraments will then be received in a single ceremony sometime in the Easter Season/June at the conclusion of Year 2 preparation.
We began preparation at another parish, how do we complete preparation at STM?
If you have recently moved to the area and your child already began preparations at your former parish, please contact the director. She will work with you and your former parish to help you complete your child’s preparation.
What if I don't want my child to receive Confirmation at this younger age?
Parents are always welcome to wait to begin the two year preparation at a later time. But in delaying Confirmation, First Eucharist is also delayed. As Archbishop Aquila has stated, there will no longer be a way, in the Archdiocese of Denver, to receive First Eucharist without also receiving Confirmation.
Why is the Bishop changing the order?
The natural sequence of the Sacraments of Christian Initiation through the history of the Church has been, Baptism, Confirmation and then reception of 1st Eucharist. This is seen at the Easter Vigil when the elect enter the full communion of the Church. They are first Baptized, then Confirmed, and finally receive the Eucharist all at the Easter Vigil.
During the first five hundred years or so of the history of the Roman Catholic Church (and still today in the Christian churches of the East), it was always the case that the sacraments of Christian initiation were celebrated in an invariable sequence: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. And it was almost always the case that all three sacraments were celebrated together at the same time, even with infants.
Later the Roman Catholic Church adopted the practice of waiting until the age of reason for the reception of Confirmation and 1st Eucharist, but they were still received in that order. However, the “age of reason” was not clearly defined and different bishops and priests interpreted it in different ways. Typically the sacraments were received together when a child was in their early adolescence.
In the early 1900’s Pope St. Pius X defined the age of reason to be 7 years old. The assumption was that as 1st Eucharist was moved earlier, Confirmation would follow as well. Unfortunately, most dioceses moved the age of 1st Eucharist younger and left Confirmation in the early adolescence, which is what we have know for most of the last century, but is not the order that the majority of the history of the Church has known.
Since Vatican Council II, there have been many documents and decrees from Rome that support and encourage restoring the order of the Sacraments of Initiation.
Is every church doing this or just St. Thomas More?
Every Catholic church in the Archdiocese of Denver will be implementing the Restored Order of Sacraments. There is a window for implementation, with the goal of having all parishes begin by 2017 and having the whole process implemented throughout the Archdiocese by 2020.
I still don't understand. Where can I go to read more information?
I still don’t understand. Where can I go to read more information?
Several articles have been written to explain the process and the reasoning behind it. Here are the links to several articles. Additionally, you are welcome to contact the director with specific questions.
Further questions, please contact:
Cheyenne Secor, Catechetical Coordinator
This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me. Luke 22:19