A MOST IMPORTANT DAY IN THEIR LIVES
[Click on photos to enlarge]
Praying quietly before Mass
On Sunday 08th September 2013, St Mary’s parish welcomed 17 young candidates to receive their First Eucharist – First Communion. The church was filled almost to capacity with family members, parishioners, and visitors from Melbourne, courtesy of a bus tour to Corowa.
Mr Segrave issues final logistical instructions
One family, the Van Orsouws returned especially for this weekend to have their children Mitchell and Amy make their First Holy Communion here. They had been former members of St Mary’s Corowa, before moving to Melbourne.
Amy Mitchell meets Fr Hart before Mass
Candidates with families at end of each seat
Parish Priest, Fr Paul Hart, led the celebration that included singing from fellow students from St Mary’s School, accompanied by guitars.
Primary School choir leaders
During the Homily Fr told a short story of a little boy who around the time of his First Communion ‘kidnapped’ a statue of Mary from the local church to demand a ransom of a red bike from Jesus, because, as he wrote in his letter to Jesus: “I’ve got your Mother.”
The Gospel is proclaimed
Then Fr Paul emphasized that receiving Jesus is far more important than receiving any red bike. He also highlighted the collage decoration the children had assembled, which was attached to the front of the altar. The theme was: “Do this in memory of Me.”
Fr Paul preaching to the children
All the candidates were well trained by their teachers and duly played their appropriate parts on cue. They did the Mass Readings, the Prayers of the Faithful and joined the Offertory Procession. Each candidate reverently approached Fr Hart and received Holy Communion in their turn.
Because during the Mass, they were each seated on the aisle, after they had received Communion, instead of returning to their places immediately they made their way to the top step on both sides of the altar to make their thanksgiving and await the return of the families to their seats. Then they returned to their seats on the main aisle. It was a very practical logistical move that avoided confusion that would ensue when the adults approached communion. It also made them feel that bit ‘special’ on such an important day.
After the final prayer, Mr Kevin Segrave called each candidate by name to come forward to receive the First Communion Certificate. They then assembled on the steps for a group photo. Thereafter they processed with Father Hart from the church and outside were reunited with their families for more photos.
Group photo after receiving certificates
Our few photos of the day tell the story very simply. May the day remain a treasure in the hearts and minds of both the children and their families.
Quietly observing the cameraman in the choir loft