First Communion Preparation
“Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Mt. 19:14)
First Communion is one of the holiest and most important occasions in a Roman Catholic’s life. It means that person has received the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the Body, and Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. Most Catholic children receive their First Communion when they’re seven or eight years of age because this is considered the age of reason. Others can receive communion for the first time whenever they’ve met all the Church’s requirements.
In order for anyone to receive communion, that person must be without sin and in a state of grace. Children must make their first confession, or the Sacrament of Penance, before receiving their First Communion. Confession isn’t the only requirement for receiving the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. The child must be baptized (please let us know if your child needs to be baptized). Children traditionally begin studying for their First Communion in first grade. Those children who don’t attend Catholic school must be enrolled in our Religious Education program. In most cases, at least two years of Religious Education must be undertaken before they can receive communion for the first time.
There’s more to a child’s First Communion than a pretty white dress and a family party. While it is a cause for celebration, that’s not what the occasion is about. The event means that the children have studied and understood, to the best of their abilities, the mystery of transubstantiation, the changing of the substance of ordinary bread and wine into the substance of Christ’s Body and Blood. First Communion is a very important and holy day for Catholic children because they are receiving, for the first time, the body and blood of Jesus Christ. By continuing to receive Holy Communion for the rest of their lives, Catholics become one with Christ and believe they will share in His eternal life.
Students older than second grade who are enrolling in our program but who have not yet received Holy Communion will be required to attend classes for two school years, with the reception of the sacrament at the end of the second year of attendance.
Students in middle school or high school who have not received First Communion will be prepared for the reception of the sacrament with a peer group of middle schoolers or high schoolers.
Please contact us in the Religious Education Office at 703-525-1300 x28 if you have questions regarding your child’s preparation for First Holy Communion.