Monday, December 29, 2014

3 Favorite Resources for First Reconciliation (and One Noteworthy Celebration!)

Guess who received her First Reconciliation at the tail end of Advent?

That's right!  Our Nina.

Among the resources we used to prepare Nina for First Reconciliation were the following:

Please Note: I am providing links for for your convenience.  Some are to Holy heroes and Amazon and are affiliate ones.  Should you choose to click through these to make purchases, we may receive a small amount of income at no extra cost to you.  Thank you.

A Family Favorite Altar Gang CDWe've Been Wronged

Image Credit: Holy Heroes
Image Credit: Holy Heroes

The children received Lumen Entertainment's  three Altar Gang CD's for Easter last year, which they quickly became enamored by.  As Nina prepared for First Reconciliation, We've Been Wronged became regular mini-van listening.  This silly, yet meaningful, audio drama features AJ the Aspergillum, Skiff the Incense Boat and the rest of the Altar Gang in a story - laced with song - that helps children focus on the value of forgiveness and the importance of God's Mercy.

The Super Child-Friendly Living the 10 Commandments for Children

Image Credit: Amazon

Nina and I reviewed parish-provided materials, the classic Lovasik's The Ten Commandments book and more as we prepared for her First Reconciliation.  However, the book that we found most useful in helping her with an Examination of Conscience was Living the 10 Commandments for ChildrenIn fact, Nina chose to bring this sweet, spot-on, child-friendly book with her to the Reconciliation Service, where she ended up sharing it with the teary, nervous little girl who stood behind her in the Reconciliation line.  

Brief, yet thorough explanations, with real-world examples and darling illustrations make Living the 10 Commandments for Children a true favorite for catechesis here.  Truth be told, I even use the book alongside my children sometimes when preparing for Confession.

 A Free Youtube Videos: Sacrament of Reconciliation

We found the frist video last year when Luke was preparing for First Reconciliation and revisited it in Nina's First Holy Communion Prep classes at our parish as well as at home this year.   It's great for children and adults!

I like the second one, too!

Celebrating Nina's First Reconciliation

After all of the First Holy Communion Prep children recevied their sacrament, Luke asked if he could receive, too.  Then, he eagerly gave a family gift to Nina, who was thrilled to a box of GFCF cookies and the book Clare's Costly Cookie from us in addition to the meaningful medal our parish gifted her.

In fact, Nina got a little silly as she stepped outside the church, literally dancing and jumping with excitement over having received both sacrament and gifts.

Then, in true Nina fashion, she promptly opened the box of treats when we got into the car and began sharing cookies with her brothers, Daddy and me.  The cookies lasted but two days in Nina's hands, but the grace of receiving sacraments will last a lifetime, we know!  And, the impact of Clare's Costly Cookie is lasting, too.  The kids and I have been reading chapters of it daily and are finding it absolutely fabulous!
Image Credit: Holy Heroes

Clare's Costly Cookie, available at Amazon or Holy Heroes is tops for teaching children how to pray to Jesus.  In it, nine year old Clare chats with Jesus, revealing spirit and spunk, as she grows in faith.  My children always ask me to read at least two chapters in a sitting, and I gladly agree, as I find the book a "living book" of catechism.  It includes themes such as:

  • resisting temptation
  • humility
  • redemptive suffering
  • the armor of God
  • the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament 
  • the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary

...and more.  It also includes brief stories about saints within Clare's prayer monologues.  Truly, Clare's Costly Cookie is a perfect book for First Holy Communion prep and beyond!

Through reading Clare's Costly Cookie and watching  Inside the Sacraments: The Holy Eucharist DVD (which Nina received for Christmas and which all the kids and I thoroughly enjoyed earlier tonight), I have no doubt that Nina is well on her way to being prepared for her next sacrament.

And, yes, if it is not already obvious: we just love Holy Heroes for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion Preparation materials, as well as for faith-based fun and learning all year long!  Holy Heroes free Mass prep videos and printables, as well as the CD's, books and videos for sale, sometimes as Deals of the Day, enrich our family's faith-based learning and fun so much! 

I am grateful to the Holy Heroes Adventure Guides for helping my kids prepare for their sacraments and more deeply understand the richness of the Catholic faith!

What are some of your go-to resources for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion Preparation?


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