First Eucharist Preparation
The information on this page is designed for children who are in second grade and are in their second year of Religious Education. For information for older children or adults, please click here.
The Eucharist is of such importance in our lives as faithful people that the Second Vatican Council stated that the Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen Gentium 11). The goal of this catechesis is to help children participate in the Mass in a meaningful, reverent manner. The content of the preparation is to have at its core the format/structure of the Eucharistic celebration. Themes should include “sharing, listening, eating, conversing, giving, thanking and celebrating.” (NCD, #133)
Parents have a right and a duty to be intimately involved in preparing their children for First Communion. Catechesis aims to help parents to grow in understanding and appreciation of the Eucharist and to participate readily in catechizing their children.
Readiness of the individual child includes:
- The child expressing a desire to celebrate Eucharist;
- The child participating in the Mass with his or her family on a regular basis at the parish;
- The child being formed in faith in an age appropriate manner including basic knowledge of who Jesus is and what he has done;
- The child being able to distinguish the Eucharist from ordinary bread.
Immediate preparation for a child’s first Reception of Eucharist:
- Teaches the Eucharist is the living memorial of Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of all and the commemoration of his last meal with His disciples.
- Teaches not only “the truths of faith regarding the Eucharist but also how from First Communion on…they can as full members of Christ’s Body take part actively with the People of God in the Eucharist, sharing in the Lord’s Table and the community of their brothers and sisters.” (Directory for Masses with Children #12)
- Ensures that the baptized have been prepared, according to their capacity, for the Sacrament of Penance prior to their First Communion.
- Develops in children an understanding of the Father’s love, of their participation in the sacrifice of Christ, and of the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- Teaches that “the Holy Eucharist is the real body and blood of Christ” and that “what appears to be bread and wine are actually his living body.”
- Teaches the difference between the Eucharist and ordinary bread.
- Teaches the meaning of reception of the Holy Eucharist under both species of bread and wine.
- Helps them to participate actively and consciously in the Mass.
- Helps children to receive Christ’s Body and Blood in an informed and reverent manner. (National Directory for Catechesis #36 A – 3a)
All children preparing to receive their First Eucharist must have been prepared for and have received the Sacrament of Reconciliation.