First Holy Communion Celebration

Posted: 7th June 2018

Lower I commemorate a special occasion.

Every year at St Augustine’s Priory we celebrate our First Holy Communicants.  Over the previous weeks girls in Lower I have received their First Holy Communion in their parishes and we mark this important event in the girls’ lives with a special Mass.  Prep III to Upper II, families, staff and Lower I join together near to the Feast of Corpus Christi to give thanks and celebrate.  Girls who have recently received the Sacrament of Confirmation also join this Junior Mass in faith partnership with our communicants.

        

On Wednesday 6th June, Fr Thomas celebrated a moving Mass redolent with beautiful singing and wholehearted participation from the girls.  Those girls in Lower I who were not First Holy Communicants showed their support for their classmates by wearing their best attire.  After being played in to Mass by some lovely harp music, Antonia welcomed everyone to the Mass, ‘This time is special for us as we build on the gift of our Baptism and receive our second and third sacraments.  We hope that as you see us here it can remind you of your promises and how much we are all loved by God’.

Lower I had organised the Mass and the First Holy Communicants delivered the readings and bidding prayers with great clarity and expression.  Together with the gifts of bread and wine, roses were brought up during the Offertory by all members of Lower I.  At Communion Nancy and Antonia sang ‘Be Still’ as a solo and then the congregation sang the traditional and well-loved hymn, ‘Sweet Sacrament divine’.  At the end of Mass all Lower I sang an anthem, ‘Taste and See’ which was followed by violin solos performed by Isabella, Tanrika, Saffron, Anoushka and Sara.

After Mass Mrs Raffray, Headteacher, marked the occasion by presenting books to the First Holy Communicants and also to those who had recently been confirmed.

Following this Lower I, together with their families and staff, repaired to the Prep Meadow for some well-deserved refreshments and time for play on a day of sunshine and flowers.

  

The First Holy Communion Mass is one of the events which brings our community together for a time of joy and is one of the best loved events of the Summer Term.

Congratulations to Lower I for preparing such a beautiful liturgy marking such a significant event in the lives of our girls.  As Isabella read at the Gospel Acclamation, ‘I am the living bread that came down from Heaven, says the Lord.  Whoever eats this bread will live forever.’

Some of our Confirmation candidates

The celebration of our pupils’ First Holy Communions spans the history of our school, from the days when the girls received the Sacrament for the first time at the school, to now, when they receive it in their parishes.

 

For example, the little girl in the picture below is past pupil Renée Dernaucourt, who received her First Holy Communion at the Chapel of our school in Neuilly on 2nd June 1904.   Her father took this photograph the next day at their family home.  As the caption on the reverse reads, ‘Souvenir de la Première Communion de Renée Dernaucourt faite en la Chapelle du Pensionnat des Dames Augustines, Chanoinesses Anglaises à Neuilly-sur-Seine, Le Jeudi 2 Juin 1904.  Photographie de Renée, faite par son papa.’

Renée Dernaucourt, 1904

Dress and style of photography may have changed, but one hundred and fourteen years later the tradition of celebrating the Sacrament of the Eucharist is still as strong as ever at St Augustine’s Priory.

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