What is First Holy Communion?
First Holy Communion is performed in church by Catholics when a child reaches the age of around 7-8 years and celebrates the first time that they accept the bread and wine (also known as the Eucharist). Catholics believe that the bread and wine are the body and blood of Christ (through the miracle of transubstantiation) After this special occasion, the child is able to accept the bread and wine at Catholic Mass (church services) and is more deeply initiated into the Catholic Church. It is necessary for the child to have been Baptised (Christened) prior to their First Holy Communion.
The First Holy Communion is held in church within a special ‘First Holy Communion Mass’ and involves the children of Y3 (the communicants) receiving the Sacrament at once, in a service that is open to the whole community and their families.
The children and their parents will have been preparing for their special day in school through the Sacramental RE lessons. They and their families will also have been regularly attending Mass. The First Holy Communion Mass is held on Saturday morning after the May half term.
Who goes and what to wear
Family, Godparents and friends of the family will be invited to celebrate, along with the church-going community that gathers together each week. The child will be dressed up – girls in a pretty white dress and veil, and boys in a suit or suit jacket. Anyone attending a First Holy Communion should dress appropriately for church – modestly and smartly but not over-the-top.
The First Communion Mass
The Mass will last for approximately an hour. It will consist of prayers, hymns, readings, bidding prayers and the actual Communion. Children will receive their Holy Communion first, then any other worshippers will be invited to receive Communion too. If you are not Catholic you are welcome to go to Father for a blessing with your arms crossed over your chest.
Can I take photos?
If you’ve been invited to a First Holy Communion, enjoy sharing this special day with family or friends. You won’t be able to take photos in the Church but make sure you get plenty outside after the service for the Communion photo album. The school invite a professional photographer, Nick Rogers, to take the official photographs which parents can buy from his site.
Year 3 children will be embarking on the exciting spiritual journey towards their Sacrament of First Holy Communion this year. Children will be following a scheme of work titled 'The People of God' which will fully prepare them though two RE lessons per week for the Sacrament. It is essential that your child attends mass to help them fully prepare for confirming their faith.
Parents and carers will be invited to attend meetings throughout the year to be given important information and how to help your child on their spiritual journey. The dates and content of these meetings will be confirmed in due course.
Thank you for your continued support.