A Higher Purpose
Support families during the most important events in the life of the domestic church: the sacraments. Knights of Columbus councils will play an integral role in these momentous faith events and the lives of families and the parish community through prayer and the presentation of symbolic gifts.
The sacraments stand as the most significant events in the life of the domestic church. The Knights of Columbus will be there to support and embrace parish families at these essential moments of encounter with Christ. As children and adult members become more integrated into the life of the church and their parish, they should know that members of the Knights of Columbus will always be present in a tangible and meaningful way, regardless of who else is there for them.
- Working with your pastor, obtain his permission and recommendations on conducting the Sacramental Gifts program. Under his direction, plan the best way for an offering of gifts to be made at the sacramental service.
- Well in advance of the sacramental Mass, determine the approximate number of recipients from your pastor and order Sacramental Gifts Kits for the specific sacrament being received. Orders can be placed through Knights Gear. It is always best to order more gifts than expected and have them ready for next time.
The Supreme Council-created Gifts are: Baptism Gifts (Forthcoming), First Communion Gifts (Forthcoming), RCIA Gifts (Forthcoming), Marriage Gifts (Forthcoming). (These are the recommended sacraments for councils to consider providing gifts.)
Although the Supreme Council offers preselected gifts, they are by no means the only resource that should be used for the Sacramental Gifts program. Councils are encouraged to create and distribute their own gifts for this program! The best gift possible is one that is relevant to your parish and has a lasting impact on the recipient. That said, please be as mindful as possible of any existing cultural traditions in your community and of potential unintended perceptions of the gifts your council chooses to present.
- Prior to the service, determine exactly how many people will be receiving the sacrament from your pastor or other parish representative. Ensure that you have enough gifts ready. Inform the parents or recipients of the council’s intent to present gifts at the Mass or ceremony to ensure that recipients are not caught unaware. This can be done by a council member or by representative from the parish.
- On the day of the sacrament, prepare the gifts in the church prior to the service and have them easily accessible. Check with the presiding priest to ensure that they are ready for the presentation. Ideally, the gifts are presented at the conclusion of the service and prior to the family taking pictures. If allowed by your pastor, a script can be read at the presentation to mark the significance of this event and how the gift contributes.
- To gain credit for your program, complete the associated reporting forms and submit them to the Supreme Council Department of Fraternal Mission. Remember to retain copies for your council records.