First Holy Communion

Child receiving first communion

First Holy Eucharist

"To Give Thanks"  The word Eucharist comes from a Greek word meaning "to give thanks".  It refers not only to the bread and wine, the Body and Blood of Christ but also to what believers to at Mass:  give thanks to God through Jesus His Son, who is the Lord.

Age for First Holy Eucharist

A century ago, children received Confirmation and First Communion when they were reaching adulthood, because teens were already contributing fully to the family's welfare and almost ready for marriage.  The Eucharistic meal was formal affair from which small children were excluded until Pope Pius X lowered the age in 1910 (see Quam Singulari).  His thought was that small children belonged at the Lord's table with their family.`

Eucharist and Sunday

The first Christians still considered themselves Jews.  They went to the synagogue to pray and hear Scripture in a ritual akin to our Liturgy of the Word.  They celebrated Eucharist as Jesus instructed at the Last Supper, in someone's home.  This included a potluck supper with others who had become part of the family by their common belief in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  Sunday, the day of Resurrection, soon became the day they gathered.

​As the Christian community grew and moved into large public buildings for worship, the celebration of Eucharist at a meal ended.  Increasingly awed by the presence of the divine Lord, many people hesitated to receive Communion.  From the Middle Ages into the twentieth century, Eucharist was less a family meal than something the clergy did while the people watched in adoration.

In the wake of Reformation arguments over the nature of the Eucharist fell on the sacrificial aspect.  The Mass, we believe, draws back the curtain of time and transports us back to Calvary.  Now all those baptized Catholics who have prepared themselves for the sacrament through study, fasting, and penance are welcome to partake.

In the Eucharist, Christ gives us the very body which he gave up for us on the cross, the very blood which he "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."

Catechism of the Catholic Church §1365

If you are the parent of a second-grade student this will be a big year for your family.  Your student will be celebrating two sacraments.  The first being the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance and the second First Holy Eucharist or First Communion.  Second-grade catechists spend the entire school year preparing for these celebrations.  In order to help students to understand their importance: 

  • Additional teaching materials are purchased for each child to guide them through the process. 
  • Practice days are scheduled for families to help keep everyone informed and prepared. 
  • And a second-grade retreat is planned to put the finishing touches on the celebration

Parents and other family members are encouraged to celebrate the sacrament with their child because the strongest teacher is a Good Example!

Communications regarding dates, times, and places of these events are communicated through the website, Flocknote, and messages sent home with the children.  Please take the time to sign up for Flocknotes or download the parish app to your phone so you will always be informed.​  Please see the Religious Education page on our Parish Website to learn more. 

To learn more about each program please click any of the following links: