The impact of the Archbishop’s call to renew the experience of Holy Mass by focusing on the 3Hs—Hospitality, Homilies and Hymns was very evident as 53 pupils of Sacred Heart Girls’ RC School received the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist for the first time on Sunday, June 23.
Our manager, Vicar General Fr Martin Sirju, began his homily by asking the candidates to identify the gifts they received for Christmas. Those gifts were mainly costly gifts but the gift that they were going to receive was not expensive, in the worldly sense. It was free and most valuable.
He also created a scenario of a mother who went abroad for a lengthy stay and left her child with a gift of a picture of herself. “Which would you appreciate more, the picture of your mother or your expensive toy?” he questioned.
Resoundingly, the girls chimed that the picture would be treasured and be more greatly appreciated than any expensive toy. This analogy helped the girls understand how much they should treasure and greatly appreciate the gift of the Eucharist, the Body of Christ.
Father also highlighted the importance of prayer. He noted that when he asked children about their prayer life, praying was mainly what was done at school. He likened Morning Prayer to breakfast. Breakfast was the most important meal for the day. So too, beginning the day with prayer, was most important.
“Seven days without prayer makes one weak. How do we spell weak,” he quizzed. Of course, it was not ‘week’ as most of the children responded. He advised that prayer must become a habit and if we are disciplined with our prayer life, we will become spiritually strong.
Fr Martin had a word for parents as well. Many parents go to Mass but do not go for Communion. Parents must show by example, that receiving the Eucharist was very important. He encouraged parents to go to Confession and do whatever it takes to make their lives right with God. They could then set the right example for their children and receive Communion when they go to Holy Mass.
He further advised that research indicates that if parents led by example when children are young, when they are older and on their own or may leave to go off to university, they still hold on to what they were taught. The research validates that in the absence of their parents, if children are brought up in the right way, they won’t depart from those ways!
The Sacred Heart Junior Choir did their part to add to the ceremony. They led the participation of the congregation by singing lustily throughout. All too soon, the morning was coming to an end. Light refreshments were served, bringing a close to a most beautiful day, when our girls were privileged to receive Jesus for the first time. Indeed, focusing on Homilies, Hymns and Hospitality made this day a most memorable one! —Vanessa Yearwood, Principal