In Ekaterinburg, in the parish of St. Anna, on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the First Holy Communion of children took place. 11 young candidates received communion. After an interruption due to the pandemic, it was a much-anticipated event.
Children were prepared for this great event by S.M. Irina Chicherova. For the last 2 years, the children had weekly activities in the common room. While meetings were restricted due to the lockdown, the classes were held at home and led by parents who received materials from Sr. Irina to conduct the meeting.
The preparation time was not easy. It required discipline and commitment of the whole family. After the ceremony, over tea, the parents were eager to share their experiences related to the preparation of their children. They said that this time mobilized everyone to deepen their own faith and knowledge and to reflect on the authenticity of life and Christian witness in family and work. The children before First Communion, had an exam conducted by Fr. Pastor Anton Gsiel, during which they showed knowledge of biblical events and the foundations of faith. I watched with joy how the children changed during their two-year formation. It is an amazing testimony to be able to see how 9 and, 12 year olds, express themselves on the topic of faith, its defense and, to share their own thoughts and personal experiences.
The celebration was extended by a procession with the Blessed Sacrament to four altars, which were previously prepared and decorated by parishioners. Children, who for the first time fully participated in the Eucharist, walked in procession in solemn costumes, and girls poured flowers. The children received the Holy Scriptures from their parents, and the parish gave them a souvenir of their First Holy Communion. After the procession and thanks, the children and parents went to the common room for a joint agape. Pizza and ice cream made the day complete.
Let us pray that this First Communion event, not only did it become a beautiful day of memories made but, it also resulted in the strengthening of faith and, the growth of hope and love in the lives of the children, their parents and the entire parish.