FIRST HOLY COMMUNION (HOLY EUCHARIST)
Along with the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, First Holy Communion is one of our three sacraments of initiation. It is through these sacraments of initiation that we become full members of the Church.
The Eucharist (from the Greek eucharistia, “thanksgiving”) is the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, in which He is present under the forms of bread and wine offering Himself in the Sacrifice of the Mass and giving Himself as spiritual food to the faithful.
It is during First Holy Communion that we receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time. For us as Catholics, there is nothing greater than to receive Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist at Mass.
THE FIRST HOLY COMMUNION PROGRAMME
The parish preparation programme for First Holy Communion is for children aged 7-8yrs (starting Year 3 in September of the following year) or older. The programme starts in September and runs until April/May of the following year. Classes take place in school term time on a Saturday from 4:15pm – 5:30pm in the Parish hall.
Application forms are available from the parish office, or to download here.
There are regular meetings for parents at which the different stages of the programme are explored. The children take part in a series of meetings run by parish catechists – details are given at the first parents’ meeting.
The First Holy Communion Programme for 2015/2016 is available from the parish office or to download here
To be eligible to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion
Your child must:
- be baptised in the Catholic Church, or another Christian denomination recognised by the Catholic Church.
- be enrolled in our parish First Holy Communion programme. If your child is older than seven years the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC) may be required. RCIC is a programme of instruction that can “catch up” your child’s religious instruction.
- have received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Instruction for this sacrament will take place at the same time as instruction for First Holy Communion. The reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation will take place a few weeks before First Holy Communion.
- parents of children not baptised at Our Lady & St Vincent Church must produce a baptismal certificate to register their child.
Parents are strongly encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s preparation
Visit the Westminster Diocese website http://rcdow.org.uk/faith/catechesis/sacraments-of-initiation/ for practical ways that you can support your child with the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation”
What else is necessary?
If you remember, at your child’s Baptism, you as parents reaffirmed your belief in the Catholic Church and promised to raise your child in the Catholic faith.
This is what the Church calls our “founded hope” that your child will be raised in the Catholic faith. If this hope is in difficulty because your faith as a parent has changed and you no longer believe in the Catholic Church, or you attend another Christian church, or for whatever reason you are not willing to ensure that your child will have opportunities to learn the faith and attend Sunday Mass, there may be reason to delay First Holy Communion.
If any of this describes your situation today, please contact Fr Tim, the Parish Priest early, to discuss your particular situation.
If your question or situation does not fit neatly into these answers, don’t panic. Please contact the parish office or Francesca Khaliq the Programme Co-coordinator 01707 654359 or Email