For First Holy Communion the children will prepare to meet the Lord Jesus in this very
special sacrament. The First Holy Communion ritual celebrates the child’s second step toward full initiation into the Church. The Eucharist is the greatest gift that Jesus gave to us – the gift of himself. The Eucharist is a gift that takes a whole lifetime to open; it is a gift that requires a response from us. That is why it is so special and why we must take such care that our children are well-prepared.
At your child’s Baptisms you, the parents, were told that you “would be the first and best teachers of your children in the way of faith”. Parental involvement in the preparation of your child for First Holy Communion is paramount. The parish ‘helps’, but does not replace your part in the process of leading your children in the development of their faith, through the development and example of your own life. The best preparation for the Eucharist is taking your child to Mass regularly and helping your child understand what it is all about.
First Holy Communion is most often celebrated by children around the age of seven or eight, when they have reached the age of reason and are capable of participating in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church, usually Grade Two. First Holy Communion is to be preceded by the sacraments of baptism and reconciliation. “Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1457).
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION REQUIREMENTS
The following requirements apply to all Parish Religious Education and Basilica School of St. Paul families
- A child must be baptized. A copy of the certificate must be on file with PREP or BSSP
- Attend the Parish Faith Formation Program or the Basilica School of St. Paul
- Attend 3 First Holy Communion Retreats. Sacramental Prep Schedule 2017-18
- At least one parent or adult guardian is required to attend the retreats.
- Each child is required to complete the First Communion Sacramental Preparation materials with their parents.
- Each child and at least one parent are required to attend the shared meal and rehearsal for First Holy Communion.
- Children and their parents are expected to attend Mass.
Call the Faith Formation Office for more information at 252-5422 ex. 340