Holy Communion

Holy Communion is the act by which we receive the sacrament of Holy Eucharist.  The Eucharist is the greatest of the seven sacraments celebrated by the Catholic Church. At each Mass, the bread and wine is consecrated, and is thus transformed to become in its deepest reality the body and blood of the risen Christ. As we eat the host and drink from the chalice, we are nourished by Jesus himself.

Union with Christ in Holy Communion is the bond of charity which makes us one with our neighbour. When we grow in love for God through our union with Jesus, we also necessarily grow in love for our fellow man. If we have the right disposition, receiving the Eucharist produces changes in ourselves that we notice over time: a lessening of racial and national prejudices, of neighbourhood resentments; an increase in love, in compassion, in patience and forbearance towards others.

The First Holy Communion celebration for our boys and girls is one of the highlights of the year in the Salisbury Catholic Parishes.  The children prepare as a group for their First Holy Communion, and to first receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation


In the Salisbury Catholic Churches our programme of preparation is open to baptised children who are in Year 3 or above.

It is for children and their parents/guardians.  There are twelve sessions for the children and four sessions for the adults.  The programme usually begins with an introductory meeting which is held in September each year.  The children’s sessions begin in October and continue until they receive their First Holy Communion the following June.   See the current programme  as a guide to how the programme is organised.

We try our best to make the children’s sessions fun and interactive – a time when they experience the love of God through the guidance of our volunteer catechists, their friends and from what they hear and learn.  The programme is designed to affirm them as a son or daughter of God loved by him, saved by him, guided by him.

As well as attending the parents’ sessions, we encourage and welcome all parents to volunteer to help or support the children’s sessions. All of our catechists are subject to a DBS check.


If you are interested in enrolling your child on our next programme, there are three steps you need to take:

1. Click the link here and read the content that you find there under ‘Eucharist’ and ‘Confession’ and watch the videos.

2. Bring your child regularly to Mass if you don’t already come each week.  The programme that we use focusses upon the different part of the Mass so it is important that the children are familiar with Mass before they begin the programme.

3. Complete the application form which can be downloaded here. Note: you can complete your details directly onto the PDF and email to office@salisburycatholics.org or send by post to 95 Exeter St, Salisbury SP1 2SF.  These forms are also available at the back of church.


Want to speak to someone?

Caroline (child sessions) on 502503

Lee (parents’ sessions) on 340206

Fr Michael or Fr Saji on 333581

If you are an adult who has never received Holy Communion in a Catholic Church, you might like to join our Journey in Faith/RCIA group.  Please contact Fr Michael or Fr Saji on 333581.

If you are a Catholic who has been away from Holy Communion for a long time and would like to return or receive some guidance, please contact Fr Michael or Fr Saji on 333581.  Please be reassured that you will be met with sensitivity and welcome.

Yes, of course. We stipulate Year 3 as the minimum age for joining the programme as a child needs to have reached the ‘age of reason’. This is the point at which they can distinguish right from wrong and make moral choices. It is not uncommon, however, for parents to wait until their child is a little older and more mature to join the programme. We regularly have children in Years 4, 5 & 6 on the programme together. However, if your child is of secondary school age, this programme would no longer be suitable for them and we would look to provide them with a different programme of preparation better suited to their age and maturity. Whatever the age of your child, we are here to help, contact us.

In order to receive the sacraments of Holy Communion and Reconciliation a child must first be baptised.  If you would like your child to be baptised, please go to our Baptism page or ring us on 333581.  If your unbaptised child is in Year 2 or above and you are hoping that they will join the FHC programme imminently, please contact us without delay and we will do our best to accommodate your request quickly.

Yes. When it is no longer possible to get to Mass due to illness or infirmity, the Holy Eucharist can be brought to you either by one of our priests, deacons or by a specially commissioned extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.  If you, or a relative, need to receive the Eucharist in this way, please contact the parish office on 333581.

The faithful are encouraged to abstain from any food or beverages for at least one hour before receiving Holy Communion. Water and medicine may be taken at any time. However, the elderly and the sick, as well as persons caring for them, may receive Holy Communion even though they have not observed the Eucharistic fast.

All the faithful who have received First Holy Communion should receive the Holy Eucharist at least once a year.

The Church allows people who have already received Holy Communion to receive it a second time only on the same day at a Mass in which they participate.

In order for people to receive Holy Communion in our churches, they need to be in union with the Catholic Church and they must believe that the Eucharist is the body of Christ, not just a symbol of Christ’s body.  The Church has always been clear that at Mass the bread and wine literally become the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. They may still have the appearance and taste of bread and wine, but they have truly and substantially changed. When Our Lord said at the Last Supper “This is my body…” we take Him at His word. It shows you are part of the Church. When a Catholic receives Communion, they show they are a member of the wider Catholic community – literally “in communion” with the Church. It would therefore make no sense for a non-Catholic to take Communion. As the bishops of England and Wales say:  “Normally when people receive Holy Communion at a Catholic celebration of Mass, they should be saying: ‘We are in full communion with the Catholic Church, united with the bishop of this local community and with the Pope.’”