Mark Allen found no suitable published book to prepare his son for First Holy Communion. In the Roman Catholic Church, First Holy Communion is an event of the greatest significance, similar to confirmation in the Church of England or Bar Mitzvah for Jewish children. A lot of the material published is trite and worst of all tends to patronise the children for whom it is intended. To help parents and teachers answer questions about the ceremony Mark Allen offers readings and background from scripture and catechism. Children are hard-headed and like stories and facts. The narrative of the Bible provides facts, events which happened, and along with them the objective truths of revelation. The Mass is our sacramental encounter with the person of Jesus and instruction for First Holy Communion should therefore be centred on him and on the Gospel story of his life. Preparation should reflect the unity of the mass, its liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic Rite - the mystery of Christ in our community as Church. Routine is the key aid to progress. The course provided in this book is based on a series of half-hourly sessions for parents or teachers to hold with their child.
It is both practical and down to earth.
Table of Contents
The Sacrifice of Communion / The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving / The Sacrifice of Faith / The sacrifice of Salvation / Food For the Journey / The Covenant of Love: Life in Freedom / Waybread for the Pilgrim / God's Secrecy in His Sacraments / The Silent Prayer of the Contrite Heart / The Mystery of Suffering: Sacrifice and Expiation / The Inscrutability of God's Will / Mary's Submission to God's Will / The Prohetic Prayer of Humility / Zechariah's Prophecy / The Incarnation: A Call to Conversion / Prophetic Greetings / Jesus' Vocation / John's teaching and the Baptism of the Lamb of God / Vocation: Conversion to a New Life in Christ / Christ's Gift of Himself / Born of the Spirit in Baptism / Weakness An Author of Evil / Configuring Tradition to the Paschal Mystery / Love Which Knows and Cares / Love Which Restlessly Seeks the Beloved / The Imperative of Love / The Father's Unchanging Love / Healing in the Spirit / The Unity of Christ / A Deep Faith / A Kingdom of Love / Jesus Appoints Peter / Love Which Accepts death / Death which leads to life
Mark Allen is a Member of Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service. He was educated at Downside and Oxford. He is the author of Falconry in the Middle East (Collins) and a book on prayer written with Ruth Burrows.