‘Do this in Memory’ is a parish based sacramental preparation program for First Eucharist. Read more about it and see the dates for the coming year.

Dates for Do This in Memory 2010 -2011

1:Enrolment Sunday – Parish decision
2: October 31st – 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
3: November 21st – Christ the King
4: December 12th – 3rd Sunday Advent
5: January 23rd – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
6: February 13th – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
7: March 27th – 3rd Sunday in Lent
8: April 17th – Palm Sunday
9: May 8th – 3rd Sunday of Easter
10: June 26th – Feast of the Body and Blood

See below – Five steps to setting up Do This in Memory in your Parish

Introduction of THUMB

Do This in Memory has now gone through two full liturgical cycles and it seems an appropriate time to make some revisions to the programme. Most of the proposed revisions are based on our conversations with people we met as we travelled throughout the country and abroad over the past six years.

The most significant and obvious change is the introduction of THUMB: That’s His/Her Useful Mass Book. This book will replace the Parent Booklet and the Kids Stuff material and will contain a variety of ways in which parents and children can engage with the programme before, during and after Mass.

The content of THUMB will be as follows:

Introduction to the Do This in Memory programme including a guide for parents that suggests ways they might use the programme most effectively

What Happens at Mass? An introduction to the Mass in nine parts. Two new characters, Kath and Qumen, who are also preparing for their First Eucharist, help the children and their parents learn more about the Sunday celebration

The Rite of Mass:This will help parents and children to participate more fully each time they attend Mass

kidStuff:Nine activity sheets to be completed at home after each Sunday of the programme.

Click to download a copy of the Thumb Order Form

Order forms have now been sent to all parishes.

Other Resources

There will continue to be nine Grapevine Newsletters to be distributed after each Do This in Memory Mass. The Grapevine helps parents to engage more fully with the programme at home.

The Coordinators Manual includes:

  • Liturgical guidelines for each Sunday of the programme
  • Homily notes
  • Text of Sunday readings
  • Communion reflections
  • Liturgical guidelines for the celebration of First Eucharist
  • PowerPoint presentation and notes for the initial meeting with parents
  • Eucharistic Prayer for Children 1


Five steps to setting up Do This in Memory in your Parish



Find out how many children will be celebrating First Eucharist in your parish next year so that you can order the necessary materials, programme and candles in plenty of time.


The priest responsible for First Eucharist convenes a meeting of key people, e.g. priests, parish team members, pastoral workers, sacramental

coordinators, teachers of First Eucharist and principals. The purpose of this meeting is to:

  • Ensure that all are familiar with the programme and its rationale. This information can be found in the Introduction of the Coordinators Manual. You may need to supply a copy of the programme for new teachers and members of staff
  • Decide on a date for the First Sunday of the Do This in Memory programme. We suggest that one of the following Sundays be chosen: 26th, 27th or 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
  • Confirm a date and venue for the initial meeting with parents. Ensure that teachers and principals know that they are very welcome to attend this meeting and that their presence would be appreciated
  • Organise dates for First Penance and First Eucharist so that parents can be informed at their initial meeting.


  • Consider how best to invite parents. There is a sample letter in the Coordinators Manual
  • The CD Rom supplied with the resource manual contains a PowerPoint presentation for use at this meeting. If you do not have the facility to use
  • PowerPoint there is a copy of the presentation with notes in the Appendix of the Coordinators Manual
  • Decide who will facilitate the meeting
  • Consider asking one of last years parents or someone from a neighbouring parish who has experience of the programme to speak briefly about the role of the Programme Planning Group
  • Ensure you have the necessary material to distribute at this meeting:
    • A copy of THUMB for each child preparing for the sacraments
    • A copy of the dates of the Sundays of the programme for each family. This can be found at the beginning of the Coordinators Manual
    • Bring a sample of a Do This in Memory candle to the meeting, and decide whether the parish or parents will pay for the candle
    • Assign a member of the parish team to take an attendance list on the night
    • Is hospitality on the night possible?


  • Introduce the programme
  • Look for volunteer parents to be members of the Programme Planning Group and arrange your first meeting with this group. This meeting should take place as soon as possible
  • To facilitate communication with parents during the year, ask those present to give their contact details including names and telephone numbers.
  • It will also be necessary to get similar information from those parents who cannot be present.
  • Distribute THUMB and dates for the Sundays on which the programme will take place.


The agenda for this meeting is in the Coordinators Manual.

What people are saying about Do This in Memory


The programme brought the meaning of Holy Communion home to the children. There was

none of the money stuff and clothes. Meeting Christ was the focus.

It is a valuable programme for both parents and children. It encourages both parents and

children to take an active role in First Communion and deepens its meaning to more than just a

day out and nice clothes.

This programme has brought our family closer to God. Thank you.

I sat in our church on Sunday for our daughters First Holy Communion with fifteen very

relaxed, happy children and their families and their community. The months of preparation

showed through and I knew for definite that this is the Church I want to live with and this is the

faith I want to pass on. We have come a long way from when children were fearful, when

parents were agitated and when teachers and priests were strict and forbidding. This Sunday

we were part of the ceremony not a show piece. This is real and there are no spectators;

there are only participants.

One of the loveliest features of the Do This in Memory programme is the inclusion of a whole

spectrum of parents and family members who were not regular or active members of the parish

community prior to the programmes introduction. Parents meet to organise the Mass and they

network by text, school gate chat and word of mouth to enlist the participation of other

parents.  As I collected my children at my child-minders recently she asked if I would read a

post-communion reflection at the Do This in Memory Mass. At football training I overheard

another parent organise an offertory procession. Patricia Kieran (able, Desk and Altar, The

Furrow, May 2009)


Our work was easier. Children were familiar with the church and the Mass responses

no need for endless practices less of a performance on the day of First Eucharist.


Do This in Memory was an answer to a prayer. We were looking for tools to involve the parents

in the faith formation of their children and this was the perfect solution. The children are more

active in their faith, know their prayers earlier and better, and others are asking how they can do

(Fr Jeffrey Keyes CPPS, St Edward Catholic Church, Newark, CA, USA)

I cant think of anything better to involve people who would not otherwise be involved.

It is bringing parents and children to Mass who wouldnt otherwise be there and it gives

children an intimacy and ease with the Church.

It created an awareness in the whole community of the importance of Holy Communion.

You have given parishes a spark with which to light many faith communities.

God is taking great delight in your work.

During my forty years of priesthood I have continually tried many ways to make contact with

the home. Do This in Memory has helped me to do this in a simple but effective way.

Do This in Memory is the most effective pastoral strategy

that I have worked with in the last ten years