Dear First Sacrament Families,
While we would have preferred to have been able to celebrate First Holy Communion according to our intended schedule, we have all had to make a number of changes in our lives due to the pandemic. As you may already know, we have been given permission to resume public Masses. That means that we are now able to celebrate Masses with limited capacity to allow for distancing.
While we anticipate celebrating First Holy Communions as a large group in the fall (October 2020) – being able to do so will depend on a lot of variables out of our control.
However, for those families who believe their child is ready to receive their First Eucharist now, and not delay reception any longer, Fr. Paul is happy to welcome those children to receive at any of our Masses. In order to best serve you, your child(ren), and maintain our sacramental records, we ask that you notify us in advance. You may sign up using the link below.
To allow for proper social distancing standards we are only able to accommodate two First Communicants at each Mass. Please email me at Melissa.Gozzo.CCB@gmail.com with any special requests or concerns. We will do our best to honor these requests as they come in (i.e. coordinating First Holy Communions for cousins registered in our 2019- 2020 First Sacrament Program).
To provide for social distancing and eliminate the need for rehearsals, each child will be assigned a pew at the Mass; the child’s household members will be allowed to sit in the same pew (maximum 6 persons). There will be no additional advanced reserve seating. You will not be allowed to arrive earlier to save seats. Please arrive ten minutes prior to Mass.
If you would like family members from another household to attend this special Mass for your child, they must sign up separately, seven days prior to the Mass, using the link below:
Please note that Mass sign ups are only available to the public on a first come first serve basis during the week leading up to that Mass. (For example, if your child was to be receiving their First Holy Communion at the 4PM Mass Sunday, June 28th, then your family members would have needed to sign up separately to attend this specific Mass during the week of Monday, June 22nd to Saturday, June 27th – space permitting).
A few things to keep in mind:
- We encourage families to complete and review their Yellow Eucharist Folder so your child will be better prepared to receive this special Sacrament. Folders can be dropped off outside the BCRE Office at St. Theresa Parish Hall.
- Your child is welcome to wear to his/her special attire for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion or his/her Sunday Best.
- You will be required to wear a mask during Mass. We would ask that you bring one with you.
- Our churches have been marked for safe social distancing. Please sit in the locations that we have indicated. Immediate family members may sit together.
- During communion, you will be instructed on how to approach the altar. Please follow the guidelines.
There are several other requirements to attending Mass at this unusual time, please familiarize yourself with them before participating.
If you and your family are not comfortable, or would not prefer, the individual opportunity at a Mass this summer, you may simply postpone your child’s First Communion to a later time, hopefully to take place this fall.
Those who have seized this opportunity will not be penalized or excluded from participating in any event that we have for the whole group in the future.
We are looking forward to these celebrations and are praying for the children as we approach these special days! May God bless you all.
Sincerely in Christ,
Billerica Catholic Religious Education
Coordinator of Religious Education, Seekers and Explorers (Grades 1-4)
Coordinator of First Sacraments