Policies and Preparation for First Communion
1) While there are exceptions, it is typically the norm that children are given their First Communion while in the Second Grade. Those children who are not enrolled in Catholic schools are required to attend CCD classes in preparation for this. The child should begin CCD classes in Kindergarten, and continue them through the end of school. The second grade class is specifically designed for children to learn the significance of the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation. See the pastor and the 2nd grade CCD teacher for more specifics on what is required for first communion preparation.
It is asked that parents play as much of a role as possible in helping their children to prepare for this sacrament. Parents should be open to discussing what they learned in classes, as well as discussing what they know about this sacrament. Parents are often not able to answer questions from their children on these topics, which is alright sometimes. The preparation is designed so that the children and parents both grow in their knowledge of this sacrament.
As with any sacrament, it is the assumption that the child will continue in practicing their faith (i.e. going to church, praying regularly, learning about their faith) beyond the time when he/she actually receives First Communion. Thus, those parents who have been inactive in their faith may need to show that they do in fact intend to raise their children in the practice of the faith.
It is important to note that the religious education of a child is not simply taking place in 2nd grade, but that it has started before that point in the child’s life, and will continue into the later grades of their childhood. This is part of the general life in Christ and in his Church.
Typically, First Communion takes place in the context of mass, together as a class, usually in early May of each year.
In the weeks before receiving First Communion, the children will also receive the sacrament of First Reconciliation. This is done as part of a communal penance service, either with just the children themselves, or as part of a larger communal service. All children will be taught, as part of their CCD classes, the understanding and preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
Children who attend Catholic schools will usually receive their instruction in the course of their schooling. Their instruction will be monitored by the pastor, who may request other requirements as well. Children who attend Catholic schools will receive their First Communion (as well as their First Reconciliation) along with the CCD students, and they will generally receive First Communion in the parish which they belong to, regardless of what Catholic School they go to. In the weeks before receiving First Communion, the children will also receive the sacrament of First Reconciliation. This is done as part of a communal penance service, either with just the children themselves, or as part of a larger communal service. All children will be taught, as part of their CCD classes, the understanding and preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
8) For those parents who have, for whatever reason, delayed their children’s reception of First Communion beyond the 2nd grade, accommodations can be made in the preparation of these children for this sacrament. These accommodations will be looked at on a case by case basis in conjunction with the pastor.