Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Day of Firsts

Today was First Communion Sunday at the Holy Redeemer parish. This year my wife and I taught the second grade Faith Formation class together. This is her third year teaching the 2nd graders and my first.

We have 22 kids in our class this year and today was their big day (along with the kids who attend the Catholic school.) Our 22 kids received their first communion over three Masses today. 8 AM, 10AM, and noon (Spanish Mass). We attended all three of them.

at the 8 and 10 AM masses each teacher had a job. In the past I understand that the faith formation teachers were not involved. The school teachers did all of the work. This year was different. My wife and I felt very involved. We even had a job to do to help keep the mass flowing.

One of the things that our parish does is to let select first communicants "dress the altar." I am not sure if this is done in other places but it has been done every year. My job for the 8 and 10 AM Masses was to help them get the altar vestment on correctly. The kids did wonderfully despite being very nervous.

I did not realize how important teaching this class was to me until today. Getting to see those kids make their first communion is the highlight of my week. I'm already starting to look forward to doing this again next year.

I am not sure how the priests can do it. After the 8 and 10 AM Masses. I was exhausted and we still had one more to go. The noon Spanish Mass. There were only three kids receiving their First Communion and they were all from our class. I have to admit I was really nervous about attending this Mass because I do not know a word of Spanish. As it turns out, I did not need to now what was being said to participate. I knew the Mass well enough to know what was going on. One of the things that struck me, however, was that the people attending this Mass celebrated Mass with a great deal of passion. It was very refreshing to see and be a part of that. The three kids was all dressed wonderfully according to their customs. They wore scapulars (I think that is what they were) on their arms and carried their candles. It was great!

Father S. had a surprise for us at the end of Mass he spoke in English and asked my wife and I to stand. He thanked us for teaching and everyone applauded. It was unexpected and wonderful at the same time.

It truly was a day of firsts for me today. I hope to be involved in more of these kids of "firsts" in the future. It is truly one of the most fulfilling things that I have done in a while.

No comments: