RESTORED ORDER OF THE SACRAMENTS
Restored Order Sacrament Preparation
For those children entering second grade who have already been baptized Catholic, this two-year Fall through Spring program prepares second grade children for three sacraments: First Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Eucharist. This process of Sacraments is commonly referred to as Restored Order.
Year 1 (Second Grade) is preparation and reception of First Reconciliation. Year 2 (Third Grade) is preparation and reception of BOTH Confirmation and First Eucharist.
Parent Meeting Requirements
YEAR 1: Preparation for First Reconciliation
Parents will attend one class per month. These sessions are engaging adult sessions. It is crucial for everyone to be registered by the deadline to make sure that enough materials are available.
In addition to attending monthly sessions, parents then work with their children at home using a book to prepare the children specifically to receive their First Reconciliation during Lent.
YEAR 2: Preparation for Confirmation and First Eucharist
This same group of parents reconvenes in Fall of Year 2 to begin specific preparation for BOTH Confirmation and First Eucharist. Fall preparation will concentrate on Confirmation and Spring will concentrate on Eucharist. Parents will attend workshops while their child is in class. 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 did the Bishop change 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 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 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:
John Cox, Director of Catechesis