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First Holy Communion

Along with the Sacrament of Baptism, First Holy Communion is one of our three sacraments of initiation. It is through these sacraments of initiation that we become full members of the Church. We receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time during the First Holy Communion. The Holy Eucharist refers to Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity that are truly present in the consecrated host and wine (now called the Body and Blood of Christ) on the altar. For us as Catholics, there is nothing greater than to receive Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist at Mass.

First Holy Communion is considered one of the holiest and most important occasions in a Roman Catholic person’s life. It is the first time that a person receives the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which is the consuming of consecrated bread and drinking of consecrated wine. Most Catholic children receive their First Holy Communion when they are 7 or 8 years old as this is considered the age of reason.

Older people can receive First Holy Communion when they have met all of the Catholic Church’s requirements. If you are an adult, 18 years or older, who is seeking more information on how to become a member of the Catholic Church, or if you are a baptized Catholic and have never received First Holy Communion, please refer to The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) for further information.

Please click here to learn more about RCIA and how it relates to COVID-19.

What is necessary for my child to receive First Holy Communion?

At a minimum, child must:

• Be baptized in the Catholic Church, or another Christian denomination recognized by the Catholic Church. Basically, they must have been baptized with water and with the words “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” spoken over them.

• If your child is older than second grade, we may require completion of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIA).

• Have received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Instruction for this sacrament will take place before instruction for First Holy Communion. The reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation will take place a few months before First Holy Communion.

Please click here to learn more about RCIA and how it relates to COVID-19.

When does the instruction of the children begin?

All Catholic children, even if they are not attending Catholic schools, are welcome to participate in our parish program if their parents worship in any of the church communities within the boundaries of Immaculate Conception Parish.

Upon completion of the First Reconciliation instructions in March, the instructions for First Holy Communion typically takes place during May for both the Catholic and public school children in second grade.

The parents, with help from the program coordinator and the parish priest, prepare their child for First Holy Communion.

When does First Holy Communion take place?

First Holy Communion for children generally takes place on the Sunday of the feast of Corpus Christi. Sacramental Instructions of First Reconciliation and of First Communion for parents and children must be completed first.

Corpus Christi
Sunday, June 6th, 2021

Please click here to learn about First Holy Communion as it relates to COVID-19.

What else is necessary for my child to receive First Holy Communion?

Traditionally, young Catholic children will make their first confession, also called the Sacrament of Reconciliation, before receiving their First Holy Communion. But confession is not the only requirement for receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist; the Sacrament of Baptism must have been received as well. A child, or any person, who has not been baptized cannot receive Holy Communion.

At your child’s Baptism, you reaffirmed your belief in the Catholic Church and promised to raise your child in the Catholic faith. This is what the Church calls our “founded hope” that your child will be raised in the Catholic faith. Today, if this “founded hope” is in jeopardy because your faith as a parent has changed and you no longer believe in the Catholic Church, or you attend another Christian Church, or for whatever reason you are not willing to ensure that your child will have opportunities to learn the faith and attend Sunday Mass, there may be reason to delay First Holy Communion. These are serious issues and will need the pastor’s determination to proceed. If you are in a similar situation, please contact the priest early to discuss your options.

Text content provided in-part or in-whole by St. Michael’s Basilica, Archdiocese of Toronto.

Video content published with permission of Busted Halo ministries.