Introduction of THUMB

Do This in Memory was developed to meet a need for parish-based pre-sacramental resources which would give parents, children and the parish community the opportunity to prepare for First Eucharist. Experience has shown that when provided with accessible resources and invited to take an active role, parents and those involved in parish leadership are only too willing to accept the invitation.

Since its introduction, almost 40,000 children and their families annually use this programme to prepare for First Eucharist. We have been privileged to meet with parents, priests, parish team members, teachers, and, of course, the children themselves in almost every diocese in Ireland and further afield. During the course of our conversations and discussions, we have received much positive feedback and constructive suggestions regarding how to make the programme more effective. Having taken all this into account, we hope that this updated version will enable the three partners of home, school and parish to work together even more effectively in the sacramental preparation process.

We have been further encouraged, inspired and affirmed by the following quote from Pope Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis:

‘In pastoral work it is always important to make Christian families part of the process of initiation. Receiving Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion are key moments not only for the individuals receiving them but also for the entire family, which should be supported in its educational role by the various elements of the ecclesial community. Here I would emphasise the importance of First Holy Communion … Parish pastoral programmes should make the most of this highly significant moment’.



Within the Do This in Memory Programme there are two main resources to help parents and their families prepare at home for First Eucharist: THUMB and the Grapevine newsletters. The content of THUMB will be as follows:

THUMB is divided into four sections:

  1. Enrolment Mass. Here you will find all you need to prepare for and participate in the First Sunday of Do This in Memory
  2. Making sense of the Mass: Each month you are asked to look at a different part of the Mass with your child. We hope this will help you and your child to understand better why we do what we do at Mass. Your child will be able to participate better at Mass if you take the time to read and discuss each of these sections once a month.
  3. The Missal or Mass Book. This part of THUMB has all the prayers that we use at Mass. When your child has the words in front of them it will help them to stay more focussed and join in more easily in the prayers of the Mass.
  4. KIDSTUFF. This section of THUMB Includes activity sheets called KIDSTUFF to help the children consolidate their understanding of what they have experienced at Mass. We ask you to help your child to fill them in after each Sunday of the programme

 Grapevine Newsletters

Each Sunday after the Do This in Memory Mass you will receive a copy of the Grapevine newsletter. This is a resource for you, the parent, to read with your child and contains many different ideas and suggestions for using the programme at home.

Other Resources

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

Order Form

Click to download Order Form Do this in Memory 2011

Dates for Do This in Memory 2011-2012

Enrolment Sunday                                    Date to be decided by Parish

Sunday, 16 October                                  29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, 20 November                             Feast of Christ the King

Sunday, 18 December                              4th Sunday of Advent

Sunday, 15 January                                  2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, 12 February                                6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday,11 March                                      3rd Sunday of Lent

Sunday, 1 April                                         Passion (Palm) Sunday

Sunday, 22 April                                       3rd Sunday of Easter

Sunday, 10 June                                       Feast of Corpus Christi

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.