1st Sacraments Requirements at SSM
All families must register their child for 1st Sacraments (Reconciliation and Eucharist) at St. Stephen, Martyr Catholic Church. Please call the Parish Office at 757-421-7416 if you are not a parishioner.
Sunday and Holy Day Mass Attendance
The Mass and the Eucharist are the very center of our Catholic faith. The obligation to attend Sunday and Holy Day Masses is a responsibility for all Catholics. We expect all of our children to attend Sunday and Holy Day Masses.
1st Sacraments Session Attendance
These sessions are mandatory preparation classes. They will take place on Wednesday evenings, according to the 1st Sacrament Preparation Calendar. There are six (6) sessions for Reconciliation and six (6) for Eucharist. There are no make-up sessions for a missed class. Make-ups will be done by the parent at home.
One or both parents are expected to attend the three (3) parent sessions for each sacrament.
Religious Education Enrollment and Attendance
The Diocese of Richmond requires ALL children seeking their 1st Sacraments to be concurrently enrolled in a religious-education program during the year in which they prepare for the two sacraments. Enrollment in a religious-education program is defined as one of the following:
1. Participation in Wonder at St. Stephen Martyr
2. Enrollment in a diocesan or private Catholic school (such as, St. Matthew’s Catholic School)
3. Participation in a home school-based Catholic religious-education program (approved by the pastor)
Although a year of systematic religious education (in the parish, the home or the Catholic school) in advance of preparation for First Reconciliation/Eucharist would certainly be helpful, there is no requirement that a child had to be enrolled in formal religious education.
1st Sacrament Fee
There will be a fee for each child. This covers the cost of both books used during the year. For those who need to take Wonder, there is an additional fee. If this is not possible or your child attends Catholic school, please contact the Office of Christian Formation.
Parents must provide a recently dated copy of their child’s baptismal certificate by January 1. A copy must be obtained from the church at which the child received their baptism.
First Eucharist Practice
The weekend prior to First Eucharist Sunday, children and their parents are asked to be present at the First Eucharist Retreat. This will allow children run through the Mass, sample unconsecrated host and wine, as well as complete a service project.
First Eucharist Liturgy
First Eucharist will take place during the first weekend in May. Sign-ups for these dates take place during the first Eucharist Parent Meeting.