First Communion Preparation
For Children in Grades 1-7
“Children’s preparation for first reception of the Eucharist begins in the home. The family has the most important role in communicating the Christian and human values that form the foundation for a child’s understanding of Eucharist…The catechesis offered should help parents grow in their own understanding and appreciation of the Eucharist and enable them to catechize their children more effectively.”
(from the National Directory for Catechesis, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005)
The First Communion Preparation Process is a two year commitment. The Parent Orientation Meeting at the beginning of each school year will give the schedule of events and specific instructions parents/guardians need to support the child being prepared to receive the Eucharist for the first time. A variety of faith formation events are offered within the parish throughout each year. These are opportunities which promote a deeper understanding and appreciation for living the Catholic Faith consciously and actively. Parents/Guardians and/or the entire family are invited to participate in these events.
The first year of preparation focuses on supporting what the child is learning in the faith formation instruction given. Regular Sunday Mass attendance and an active prayer life at home are key elements for the families to participate in together.
During the second year, before receiving the Sacrament of Eucharist for the first time, children are prepared to come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. First Reconciliation Services are scheduled in January or early February of the second year of preparation.
Together with the catechists and teachers, supported by the pastor and the entire parish community, the parents/guardians actively participate in discerning when and if the child is ready to receive First Communion. They journey with and support the child in:
- Knowing who Jesus is
- Experiencing prayer as a part of daily life
- Participating in Sunday Mass
- Knowing the difference between the bread and wine and the Body and Blood
- Desiring to receive Jesus
The practice at St. Hedwig is that children receive First Communion within the context of the Sunday Liturgy.
All First Communions take place at a Sunday Vigil on Saturday or Sunday Masses during the Easter Season.
The requirements for participation in the two year preparation process are:
- The child is baptized
- The child is enrolled in religious education, either in the school or SRE, for two consecutive years
- The Registration Form for First Communion Preparation is on file in the FLM Office
- A copy of the child’s Baptism Certificate is on file in the FLM Office
The practicalities and recordkeeping are handled by the Family Life Ministries Office.
For more detailed information contact the FLM Office at (562) 296-9040 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Registration packets are available in the FLM Office or in the gathering space of the church.