The second grade children at The Way of the Shepherd this year hail from three local Catholic parishes and attend their home parish for all sacramental preparation formation. In the Atrium they are also moving forward on their journey toward receiving Reconciliation and Eucharist, and spend much of their year getting ready for these great gifts! In December three second graders received their First Reconciliation, this past Saturday five second graders (as well as two older children who are entering the Catholic Church through RCIA at Easter!) celebrated this sacrament for the first time, and this coming weekend the final five second graders will have their Baptismal garment washed clean in the sacrament of Reconciliation.
Part of preparing for Reconciliation includes looking more closely at the Sacrament of Baptism and the great gift of being welcomed into the sheepfold of Christ through receiving His light! From the beginning of the year the second graders have been working with the Rite of Baptism material (an extension of the Baptism work they have been doing since the age of three in the Atrium). They lay out the pictures of the nine most essential moments of the Rite and then match these to cards describing the gestures of the priest and the words that he prays. After setting them all out they are invited to pray through the Rite of Baptism with a friend.
The Rite of Reconciliation work is similar in that it includes picture, text, label, and gesture cards that are ordered by the children. While this is not the only way the children prepare for Reconciliation in the Atrium, it is one of the last and most immediate steps preceding their reception of this great sacrament!