FIRST EUCHARIST (HOLY COMMUNION)

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

“For the administration of the Most Holy Eucharist to children, it is required that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so as to understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and can receive the Body of the Lord with faith and devotion” (Canon 913: Church Law).

“It is the responsibility, in the first place, of parents and those who take the place of parents as well as of the parish priest to see that children who have reached the age of reason are correctly prepared and are nourished by the divine food as early as possible, preceded by sacramental confession; it is also for the priest to be vigilant lest any children come to the Holy Banquet who have not reached the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed” (Canon 914: Church Law).

 

PREPARATION

The Sacrament of First Eucharist is a PARISH-BASED preparation program. The Parish Sacramental Team consists of the Parish Priest, parishioners, the Parish Catechist Coordinator and the Religious Education Coordinator of the parish primary school. All work together to ensure that the children are well prepared to celebrate their First Eucharist.

Parents take an ACTIVE role in the program by attending each session with their child in sharing their faith with their children. This is also an opportune moment for the on-going faith development of parents. Parents also assist their child in follow-up activities at home. It is the Parish Sacramental Team who ASSISTS the parents to prepare their child.

Minimum criteria for participation in the formal preparation program is determined by the parish priest so that there is some assurance of proper understanding and faith in the meaning of receiving Holy Communion.

At St Jerome’s Parish, the preparation for the Sacrament of First Eucharist takes place in Term 2 of Year 3. Children who have been baptised Catholic and have received their First Penance (Reconciliation) are eligible to be participate in the First Eucharist Program.

The Parish-based program has various components which MUST all be attended:

  • Parent Information Session

  • Enrolment Sunday

  • Sessions on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings

  • Celebration of the First Eucharist.

 

CELEBRATION

The celebration takes place in the parish church at a Eucharist on Sunday. At St Jerome’s Parish the Sacrament of First Eucharist is usually celebrated around the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. Special dress is not required for the reception of First Eucharist, though all are encouraged to dress appropriately for the celebration.

 

PROGRAM DATES

17 May Wednesday       Parent Information Night                        7.00pm

21 May Sunday              Enrolment Ceremony during Mass          10.00am

24 May Wednesday       Session 1                                              7.00pm

28 May Sunday              Session 2                                              9.45am

31 May Wednesday       Session 3                                              7.00pm

04 Jun Sunday               Session 4                                              9.45am

07 Jun Wednesday        Session 5                                              7.00pm

11 Jun Sunday               Session 6                                             9.45am

15 June Wednesday      Session 7                                              7.00pm

 

18 June Sunday           Celebration of First Eucharist             10.00am                     

 

 

Information contained in this section is taken from St Jerome’s Parish Policy and “The Sacraments of Initiation Polices” of the Archdiocese of Sydney.