First Holy Communion

Information Regarding the Reception of First Holy Communion

The Bishop announced earlier this week that indoor public Masses may resume (with proper social distancing) the weekend of June 13-14! Please see the below information regarding the scheduling of all First Communion Masses.

FIRST COMMUNION
MASS SCHEDULE
Saturday June 20th, 11:30 AM – Mrs. Myers & Ms. Pelletier’s Monday Class
Saturday June 20th, 5:15 PM – Mrs. and Ms. Maloney’s Monday Class
Sunday June 21st, 9 AM – Mrs. Hughes’ Monday Class
Sunday June 21st, 12 PM – Mr. Roness’ Tuesday Class
 
Saturday June 27th, 11:30 AM – Mrs. Presslar’s Tuesday Class
Saturday June 27th, 5:15 – Ms. Greenwald’s & Ms. Nemcheck’s Tuesday Class
Sunday June 28th, 9 AM – Mrs. McIntosh’s Wednesday Class
Sunday June 28th, 12 PM – Fr. Tim & Ms. Baranosky’s Wednesday Class
**If your child is in Mrs. McGuinness/Mr. Bershefky’s class, please refer to your email for your Mass assignment. If you did not receive an email with this information, please contact Kara Clegg as soon as possible.

FAQs Regarding the First Communion Masses from Fr. Sam

How are the First Communion Masses organized? 
Masses are organized according to class. Your child will receive along with the other students who were in his or her class prior to the quarantine. These smaller groups allow us to observe all social distancing requirements while still making the day special for each child. As mentioned in a previous email, if you need to schedule for a different day, simply notify us and we will make arrangements with you.
Who can attend? 
In addition to our first Communion students, only parents and siblings should plan to attend the First Communion Masses, as we are not permitted to have more than 100 people in the church at a time. According to requirements of the State of Connecticut and Diocese of Bridgeport, social distancing must be observed in the church at all times. Family units (members of the same household) may sit together, provided they remain at least six feet from anyone outside their household. This allows each family to be present without violating the guidelines we must follow. We recognize that many family members from outside your household will want to attend, but coronavirus precautions make that impossible. Thank you for your understanding, and for helping your children to understand the circumstances that are beyond anyone’s control.
Can we have a big celebration in the fall instead of having First Communion now?
We would love to have a big celebration. However, there is no clear indication that anything will be back to normal by then.  In fact, as you know, many experts are still predicting a resurgence of coronavirus in the fall. It is therefore imprudent to plan a large celebration for the fall when so many variables are impossible to know. Instead, we are planning for what we can do now, with the desire that we do not delay First Communion unnecessarily. Of far greater importance than the size of the crowd is the fact that your child will receive the gift of the Eucharist. Please focus on that sacramental gift.
Incidentally, a number of the couples whose weddings are scheduled here at St. Pius have been altering their plans. Most have chosen to postpone their receptions, but keep their wedding date (albeit with fewer guests). It is not the wedding they dreamed of, but they are focused on the most important thing – their love for one another and their desire to spend the rest of their lives together!
What safety precautions are in place? 
The Church will be sanitized before and after all Masses, with special attention paid to high touch surfaces. All in attendance must wear masks. For the time being, Diocesan guidelines forbid communal singing, as multiple reports indicate that singing expels significant amounts of aerosolized particles.
Seats will be preassigned, with each family taking a single pew. This will help us to safely and efficiently seat everyone while ensuring safe social distancing. We ask you to kindly confirm to the email sent to you later this week, that you will attend, providing the number of people in your family.
During the distribution of Holy Communion, the priests will wear masks. They sanitize their hands before the distribution of Communion begins and again if they make physical contact with someone, and again when the distribution is complete.
What should my child wear?
If possible, we suggest traditional First Communion attire: jacket and tie for boys, white dress for girls. However, you may have purchased something before the quarantine that your child has since grown out of, or have been unable to get to a store to buy something because of the quarantine. In that case, something neat and clean and approximating Sunday best is the way to go. Don’t worry too much.
How will Communion be distributed?
The center aisle of the church will have markings indicating six-foot intervals for social distancing. At the front of the church, along the altar rail, four markings will be placed on the floor – six feet apart – indicating where people are to go to receive Holy Communion. The First Communion students will kneel at those designated spots at the altar rail to receive – this posture makes it easier for the priest to give them the Eucharist, and helps the children to be still long enough to receive reverently and without rushing.
Will the First Communion Mass be live-streamed? 
We will live-stream the Mass on our parish Facebook page and YouTube channel so that family and friends who cannot attend in person can witness this special occasion.
What if I am not comfortable bringing my child to a Mass with so many people? 
You may opt for your child to receive at one of our weekday (8:30 AM) Masses, or you may wait longer. Should you opt for a longer wait, there are no additional preparatory requirements. If opting for a weekday Mass, Fr. Sam will contact you to discuss logistics and social distancing attendance restrictions.
Are the kids really ready? 
Fortunately, our students were able to cover a great deal of material in class prior to the quarantine. Since classes were suspended, you parents have done an outstanding job using the materials we provided. Remember that fruitful reception of the sacraments does not depend primarily on completing a program. Rather, we spend our lives practicing the faith. The Eucharist as a sacrament we can receive frequently is, therefore, a mystery we will spend our entire lives understanding. The best way for your child’s First Communion to take root in their hearts is to repeat the experience as often as possible.
Please watch the video about receiving Holy Communion with your child and help them practice at home you received via email.
What is your plan for sacramental preparation next year? 
Like you, we are closely following every development in the COVID-19 world. The Diocese of Bridgeport is assisting parishes with guidance as well. We are looking especially at options that will allow for study at home along with in-person options. Further communication about the 2020-2021 school year will be forthcoming.

Distance Learning Resources During the COVID-19 Outbreak

In the absence of in-person Sacramental Preparation during the COVID-19 outbreak, please use the following resources to continue your lessons at home. New lessons will be added here each week and emailed to registered families. Please be sure to utilize these materials to continue the Confirmation discussion at home!

Feel free to work at a pace that is comfortable for you. These resources can be spaced out over the week and used as a quick break from schoolwork or as part of your dinnertime discussion!

Weekly Resources

Week of March 16, 2020

Week of March 23, 2020

Week of March 30, 2020

Week of April 13, 2020

  • Spring Break – Happy Easter!

Week of 4/20 & 4/27

Children wishing to receive the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion may begin preparation no earlier than Grade 2.

Dress for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion
Girls: White dress of any length. Dress shoes.
Headpieces optional: veils, floral wreaths, headbands, etc.

Boys: Blazer and tie with any color dress pant or suit. Dress shows.

*if your child has other accessories such as rosary beads, gloves, purses, or Bibles, we ask that you hold these items for the duration of the Mass. The children will not be allowed to have them in their pew.