Sacramental Preparation

What is a sacrament?

A sacrament is a celebration of faith in God the Father, in Jesus Christ and his teachings, and in pursuing a Christian life. In all, there are seven Church sacraments celebrated: Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders (Ordination), and Anointing the Sick. The Church of the Holy Spirit offers preparatory guidance and structured instruction for First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation.

Why are sacraments celebrated? 

A sacrament is a ceremony that celebrates a sacred, significant occasion or aspect of accepting God and deepening one’s faith. The word sacrament is derived from the Latin word sacramentum, which simply means a sacred sign, and, according to CatholicAmerican.org, theologians describe sacraments simultaneously as signs and instruments of God’s grace.

Preparing for the Sacraments
Sacramental preparation is a spiritual journey that enables people to deepen their faith in Jesus Christ and helps them convert to Christian living. It is an intense and immediate time during which children, youth and adults are guided to grow their faith through immersion in the mysteries of the sacraments they prepare to celebrate. An experienced team of catechists utilize preparation materials to help those in their quest to celebrate the sacrament(s).

Reconciliation is about relationships. The health of any relationship depends on communication and a continual effort to know one another. Communication often includes forgiveness and making amends. Reconciliation is the opportunity for Catholics to deepen our relationship with God; it is a personal encounter with the Lord. Reconciliation is a sacrament administered individually by a priest and is confidential. Our pastor is available for the sacrament on Saturdays from 3-3:30pm or by appointment.

Eucharist is the source and summit of Catholics’ faith—sharing the Body of Christ. Accepting Eucharist is a celebration of coming to know God through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, and a celebration of community. Accepting the Eucharist commissions Catholics to go forth to do God’s work on Earth.

Confirmation is an important personal step in faith’s journey and in a person’s initiation into the Catholic faith. Often viewed as a pilgrimage, Confirmation is at times a group experience but always incorporates an individual component that is unique for each person. At Holy Spirit, Confirmation is recognized as an especially personal sacrament. Each person grows into one’s faith at one’s own rate. Therefore, the decision to be confirmed must be solely that of the individual—with no undue pressure or influence from anyone. Sponsor form

Baptism: The seed of faith is watered at Baptism and begins our life-long journey of faith. Baptisms are generally celebrated during Mass on the first weekend of each month, except during Lent. 

Godparent RequestRequest For Baptism Certificate

First Reconciliation and First Eucharist

Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist begins in October with children in grade 2 and beyond. Sacramental preparation is rooted in the family. Through retreats, activities, prayer and discussion, preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, the entire family is welcome and encouraged to attend the preparation with their loved one. Holy Spirit’s preparation program is open to children whether they attend a Catholic school or a parish faith formation program. Attendance at monthly LIFT gatherings is required for preparation of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist.

The parish must verify the baptismal record of the child prior to him or her receiving the sacraments. Families are asked to:

  • attend mass regularly and discuss mass with the child;

  • encourage daily prayer individually and as a family;

  • attend parent orientation and designated sessions with the entire family; and,

  • explore the student book and family guide at home and use the reconciliation leaflet and missal to help prepare. (The family guide is returned at the end of the preparation program; the child should bring the student book to the retreat.)

A sacramental fee of $45 is requested to help cover the costs of books, materials and guest speakers. Inability to pay a sacramental fee will not prevent a child from receiving the sacraments.

Reconciliation Preparation Schedule

Eucharist Preparation Schedule

Parent Meeting w/child activity

Parent Meeting w/child activity

Home activities with student book

Home activities with student book

Family retreat/ Family exploration centers

Enrichment Night/Holy Thursday Liturgy/Church tours

Blessing of Crosses Practice, Reminders, Banners

Reconciliation Service First Eucharist Liturgies

Confirmation Preparation Schedule

Attendance at Mass and LIFT Gatherings

Two rites (presentation and sending) to the parish community at a weekend liturgy

Two, day-long retreats

5 or 6 Candidate/Mentor meetings beginning in spring

Liturgical Involvement and Practice

Participate in the Sacrament of Confirmation in the fall of 11th Grade (10th graders will attend the Holy Spirit Parish celebration of Confirmation as part of their preparation for their own upcoming reception of the Sacrament).

Sponsor elligibility form

Sponsor information form

Contact Marie Frost, sacramental preparation coordinator, for more information on the sacraments by email or at (518) 477-7925, ext. 207.