First Holy Communion
The programme helps the person to understand the meaning of Communion. If you wish to have your child enrolled in the First Holy Communion Programme, please contact the parish office.
First Communion is considered one of the holiest and most important occasions in a Catholic person's life. It is the first time that a person receives the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, which is the eating of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus. We believe this to happen through the act of transubstantiation. Most children in our diocese receive their First Communion when they're in Year 3 or above (7 or 8 years old), because this is considered the age of reason. Older children and adults can, of course, receive their First Communion at a later age.
For anyone to receive Holy Communion, that person must be considered to be without grave sin and in a state of grace. Traditionally, young Catholic children will make their first Reconciliation, also called the Sacrament of Penance or Confession a week before receiving their First Communion. At Reconcilitaion, the child will tell his or her sins and misdeeds to a priest and receive a penance in exchange. (The penance usually is a prayer to be recited immediately after leaving the confessional). The priest will then absolve the child of sin, and he or she is ready for his or her First Communion.
It should be noted that the Sacrament of Baptism must have been received first; so if your child has not yet been baptised, they will need to be baptised in advance of receiving these other sacraments.
A child's First Communion is often a cause for celebration, but the event has a deeper meaning. The event means that a child has studied and understood, to the best of his or her ability, the mystery of transubstantiation — the changing of the substance of ordinary bread and wine into the substance of Jesus Christ's body and blood.