"I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world." John 6:51
A letter from the Vatican on First Communion
First Communion is the last of the Sacraments of Initiation into the Church and as such is a very solemn moment in the lives of our young people. It is a special event for the family as they see the child they have presented for Baptism and Confirmation complete the final stage of being ‘incorporated’ into Christ and the Church by receiving him “body, blood soul and divinity” during Mass.
First Communion is normally celebrated in this diocese when children are in primary 4, after they have celebrated the Sacraments of Confirmation and Reconciliation. The necessary preparation is partly integrated into the R.E. syllabus in St Michael’s Primary School and partly carried out in four preparatory meetings in the Church hall in the weeks leading up to the celebration of the Sacrament. The latter is organised by Fr Bradburn and a team of catechists trained by the diocese and dates will be communicated well in advance.
During Primary 3 and primary 4, it is a particularly important part of their preparation that children are brought to Mass on Sundays so that they truly become part of this worshipping community and deepen their understanding of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. (The 11 a.m. Mass includes the Children’s Liturgy which is especially geared to their age group.) Obviously, for the sacrament to have its full effect, this participation should continue every Sunday afterwards.
Throughout the preparation, children should be encouraged to focus on the spiritual nature of their First Communion Day, and attire, gifts or celebrations should not overshadow the spiritual dimension.