First Holy Communion

Eucharist or Communion is the repeatable sacrament of Initiation into the life of the Church. For nineteen centuries it usually followed Confirmation, however, Pope Pius X, in an effort to increase the frequency of Communion to the laity, moved the usual age of First Holy Communion from the teen years after Confirmation to the age of reason, normally around seven. (see Sacraments of Initiation)

Who is eligible to receive First Holy Communion?

Any baptized and confirmed Roman Catholic in good standing has a right to receive Holy Communion. Children may be admitted to Holy Communion if they have sufficient knowledge and carefully prepared according to their capacity. They must be able to receive with faith and devotion according to their age. (cf Can. 913)

Generally children are ready to celebrate First Holy Communion around the age of seven or grade two. Parents determine readiness of First Holy Communion as the first and primary teachers of the faith to their children. Parents will recognize their child's desire to share the bread and wine of the eucharistic meal. They will notice that their son or daughter will have an understanding that the Eucharist is a special meal in which they share in the body and blood of Christ. Although the majority of children would be ready to celebrate First Communion in about grade two, children who regularly worship with their families will likely come to a desire and understanding of the Eucharist at a younger age than children who rarely have the opportunity to worship on Sunday. Children who rarely experience Church may need more time or maturity to celebrate the sacraments meaningfully.

Our Catholic schools provide a program that assists in preparing children to celebrate First Communion in the second grade. If your child is not in a Catholic school, instruction is offered by St. John the Apostle Parish. . Being in grade two does not guarantee that your child is suitably prepared to participate in the sacrament. The example and support of parents and the faith community are essential components in forming the faith life of a child.

Once I have decided that my child is ready, what do I do?
  1. Complete a registration form in the Fall.
  2. You will be asked to attend an Initial Parent Sacramental Meeting. The Initial Parent Meeting is held in fall for families whose children will celebrate in the following Easter Season. The date of the initial Parent Meeting will be distributed to the grade two children in our Catholic schools. If your child is in another grade and you wish to prepare them for First Communion, please call the Parish Office.
What is the process of First Communion at St. John the Apostle Parish?

Preparation for First Reconciliation and a Final Practice Session are required.

When is First Communion celebrated?

First Communion is celebrated during regular Sunday Masses during the Easter Season. A schedule of Masses available for First Communion will be presented at the Initial Parent Meeting. You may choose a date for your child from these options.

Contact the Parish Office for further information.