Lets Celebrate draws together liturgies from Alive-O 3 and Alive-O 4 which are provided for the preparation for and celebration of First Holy Communion and First Penance. We hope that their availability in this format will make them more user-friendly in the parish context.
The liturgies are linked with the programme that the children are following in school, and are written in a language that children will recognise and understand.
These liturgies provide the opportunity to involve parents, children and the parish community liturgical celebrations that are meaningful and that link with a significant time in the lives of parents and children.
During the work on the Alive-O series, new insights were gained along the way regarding liturgies with children. Some changes in the First Communion Mass were introduced into the AIive-O 4 book. Those who use the Alive-O 3 version of the First Holy Communion Mass may wish to look at the Entrance Procession, Prayer of the Faithful and Preparation of Gifts in the Alive-O 4 version and see if they wish to make adjustments.
The Enrolment Celebrations take place either in a special gathering of the children and their parents/guardians and other members of the community, or as part of the Sunday Eucharist. Involvement in the Sunday Eucharist strengthens the larger parish-community dimension of the whole process. In this instance the rites need to be adapted in order to integrate into the Mass. Careful thought will need to be given to preparing a liturgy that welcomes the children at this unique moment and yet remains very much the parish Sunday celebration.
The various celebrations in this book include a variety of creative symbols, reflections and other texts. A certain degree of flexibility in their use is presumed. Within the planning of each celebration, some discernment will be needed to assess how many of the options given should be used for a particular group of children. The materials offered are best seen as a resource to be children (available in the standard collection of Vatican Documents edited by Austin Flannery) is highly recommended as an effective tool for further reflection.