1st Communion age rules?


#1

I want to know if there is an age rule for CCD class. Such as you are 5 years old, so you can only be in Kindergarten CCD class? My childern started CCD at age 3. We then moved to a church closer to our home. Now they want to make my child repeat Kindergarten CCD. They say she will be too young to go through 1st Communion at age 7 in two years.


#2

Is your child in kindergarten? It seems like it would be best for her to be with her peers. At that age, it really isn’t important if she has had more years of CCD than the other kids. I think religious education also has a community aspect to it and it would be best to keep her with her age group. If anything, having a little bit of extra knowledge might be nice for her if she gets to contribute to class discussions.


#3

She is in Kindergarden at a private school. For the public schools she is at the 1st grade level. The issue is she attended CCD last year in the Kindergarden class at the same Church that now wants her to redo Kindergarden CCD. They say it is an age requirment. She is very tall, and is one full year ahead of the Kindergarden CCD class. She dose not want to go back. She wants to be in the 1st grade CCD class with her friends. I am trying to find the rule about age.


#4

While the Church considers that the age of reason is usually reached by age seven, this is flexible - it has to be, since some children are not ready by age seven and others are ready earlier.

My oldest son received First Communion at age seven. My other son, who is three years younger had Catechism lessons in his pre-school at four years old. When he was five I was urged to have him join the First Communion class at the church, as he would “get used to it”. Well, I had him join. A few months later the Parish Priest came to the class to examine the children to determine which ones would be ready for First Communion that year, and - guess who was first? Yes, my five year old son! The teacher told the priest that he was only five. His response was - he knows what he is about. Don’t hold him back. So, Simon received First Communion at five years and five months of age.


#5

As to the first reception of Holy Communion, perhaps you might discuss this with the pastor. Several canons will be relevant to the issue of age but also preparation and understanding, since it is the latter two which Church law highlights. Note the role of the parents and the pastor.

In general . . .

Canon 912 Any baptized person who is not prohibited by law can and must be admitted to Holy Communion.

Canon 843 §1. Sacred ministers cannot deny the sacraments to those who seek them at appropriate times, are properly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them. §2. Pastors of souls and other members of the Christian faithful, according to their respective ecclesiastical function, have the duty to take care that those who seek the sacraments are prepared to receive them by proper evangelization and catechetical instruction, attentive to the norms issued by competent authority.

As to the Eucharist specifically. . .

Canon 913 §1. The administration of the Most Holy Eucharist to children requires that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the Body of Christ (Domini) with faith and devotion. . . .

Canon 914 It is the responsibility, in the first place, of parents and those who take the place of parents as well as of the pastor to see that children who have reached the use 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 pastor 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.

The sufficient use of reason is generally presumed to be around 7 (canon 11).


#6

In this diocese preparation for first communion begins in first grade, first penance is done in second grade, and first communion done in third grade. there is supposed to be at least 6 months between first penance and first communion. The new rules are silent on how long preparation should be for a child who begins CCD later than 1st grade, so until we get clarification, 3 years, beginning at the 1st yr level (not kinder) will be the norm. No child is supposed to receive first communion younger than 7 years. One of the reasons I heard for the change is that many children here apparently can start school if they have late birthdays, so many 2nd graders were not yet 7 when their parishes celebrated first communion. Whatever.


#7

you could just take a year off from CCD. I don’t think that is the best option but it is better than repeating.


#8

I know here in our parish, it’s the second graders that are making their 1st Comm prep.

My DD, being homeschooled, is only in the First Grade but she will be 7 at Christmas. She will be advancing to the 2nd Grade in January too. Because we use Seton, she’s already getting 1st Comm prep but our DRE doesn’t want her in the second grade CCD class. So she’s in the First grade class while prepping with me instructing her at home for her to make her first communion.

She’s also a gifted child and already understands most of the “basics” when it comes to receiving the Body and Blood of Christ. And I’m not talking just regurgitating book stuff… she “gets it”, kwim?

So the DRE is working with me in allowing her to be outside the class studying for 1st Communion but she’ll make it next spring.

I think the flexibility needs to be there. I’ve seen alot of kids that are ready before this “set” grade level and I’ve seen alot of kids that are even above that “set” grade level that clearly wasn’t mature enough.

I guess I’m confused as to why, if she was in the K CCD class last year at this Church, why are they making her redo it? It means someone last year made the mistake of putting her into a Kindergarten class for CCD and they shouldn’t punish her by not allowing her to advance where she needs to be.

Check your Diocese for a “set” age limit. They might be able to work with you. Good luck!!


#9

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