A kindergartener received communion this morning


#1

I saw one of our little kingergarten kids receive Communion this morning in Mass ( I know him because he goes to the same Catholic school my kids go to ) he was walking in front of his family and no one stopped him in time. What is the best way to handle this? Should I mention it to our pastor ( thinking he may need to remind the little ones that they will receive Communion in the second grade ) or let it slide hoping that the family will handle it–I do think they saw him do it.

( I posted in the Apologist section too as I was not sure where to post this question )

Thanks


#2

Some children (or adults) go up for a blessing. Tell the priest and my suggestion is that an announcement could be made that for those unable to receive they can cross their hands over their heart to have a blessing from the Eucharist Minister. Hopefully this is what happened!


#3

Thanks Terry but this child actually received the host in his hand and then into his mouth. I had a bird’s eye view.


#4

Is it possible that he could’ve been Eastern Catholic? Their children are confirmed and communed during infancy. Maybe that’s why???


#5

No. Roman Catholic family. As I mentioned, I know the family thru our school.


#6

Well…don’t automatically assume too much. Perhaps the family in question is not actually of the Roman Rite, but of one of Eastern Catholic rites. It’s not that uncommon for Eastern Catholics to join a Roman Catholic parish (parishes in some of the other rites can be very hard to find in the Americas!) Perahps the child was communicated as an infant, in one of the Eastern rites. If that is the case, there is no reason for that child to be kept from the Eucharist until he’s seven years old.

The incident raises the more general question of why the Roman Rite continues to delay First Holy Communion to age seven (but not until after Confirmation); the other Catholic rites do not, and Rome does not see this as a problem - these rites are in full communion with the Holy See. The Roman Rite’s own sequence for initiation of adults is Baptism-Confirmation-Eucharist. The “traditional” Roman sequence of juvenile Baptism-Eucharist-Confirmation is the “odd man out” here.


#7

Perhaps I’m making a big deal out of nothing. I guess it bothered me because the little guy turned around to look at big sis behind him like look what I did! It’s a matter of learning respect for what it is that you are receiving and that it is not a joke. ( I understand he is just a little child and it’s really not his fault ) I don’t know why this is bothering me so much.


#8

This is an excellent post. You have accurately raised a very significant question. It is difficult for the rest of us to see why Rome has not extricated itself from this logical and theological problem that it created for itself. It has created a couple of others but we will hold those for another thread.

Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist is the ancient and logican progression and one that was historically done by all Christians until fairly recently…

CDL


#9

Yup. And maybe mom and dad took the little guy home and had a talk with him about what he did and why he is not to do it again until after he is older.
That’s my guess. And what I would do.


#10

Although I bring my 3 yo DS up when I receive, this is one of the reasons why the Vatican recently stated that children shouldn’t be brought up to receive blessings. It could be confusing to the children and/or those who aren’t Catholic or weak in formation to believe that a blessing is equal to reception of the Eucharist. Plus the burden of children wanting to receive before they are of age - as my son says, Mommy I wanna cookie too! :o

I struggle with this as I think it does actually encourages my DS to participate in the Mass and pay attention, plus I have to bring him up or else he sit in the pew alone, which scares me…

I couldn’t find the Vatican letter but I did find a discussion on Jimmy Akin’s blog if anyone is interested:
jimmyakin.typepad.com/defensor_fidei/2006/03/a_reader_writes_1.html


#11

If it’s not a bishop, priest or deacon, what blessing can he give? I don’t think lay ones can give any and they certainly can’t bless you with a host.


#12

I’m betting what two other posters mentioned:

1.) He was talked with at home. It is rare, but not unheard, for a precocious child to do this. Usually, Mom makes a big fuss right then and there.
2.) He is an Eastern Rite Catholic who is enrolled at a Latin Rite Catholic school, and his family goes to Mass at the parish where his school is located. Eastern Rite parishes may not have a parish school in the model of the Latin Rite. If this is the case, the boy was first communicated when he was an infant, and he is entitled to receive. These babies and small children do get more serious about it as time goes on. But it is actually quite a joyful thing to see an infant communicated!

And yes- the Latin Church should go back to the sacraments of initiation at bapitsm.


#13

My five year old son has recieved holy communion by accident before. It was a wonderful experience and a horrible experience for him all at the same time. It was wonderful because he has been so anxious to recieve our Lord. It was horrible because he now has to wait two years until his next wonderful experience.

Sometimes accidents happen. I don’t think you need to get too upset about it.


#14

I have hard time with this concept. Our Lord is most certainly still present in the holy Eucharist. And so just being in front of Him is still a great blessing. Never discourage one from approaching our Lord.


#15

Actually this is already happening here in the US the Fargo dioces is having children recieve their confirmation and Holy Communion on the same day. My daughter did this last year. I really hope that the rest of the country will follow suit soon.


#16

What concept? Please do not put in my mouth what I have not said. I have said that extraordinary lay ministers are not entitled to impart any blessings. Approaching or not has nothing to do with this. Just the fact that you hold a consecrated host doesn’t make you authorised to bless people the way a priest can. If you have a problem with this concept*, you have a problem with canon law and liturgical discipline. If you have a problem with some other concept, it’s not the concept I’m talking about. ;)*


#17

I can see why this is bothering you but I doubt that this was a premeditated action on the part of the little boy.

For example: take my son (age just 7) …he has gone up with us to receive a blessing and everything is fine…however, If I were not looking and a priest were to hand my son the Eucharist my son would take it. I know he would. He would not have the presence of mind to say “Father I have not received my First Holy Communion yet”. He would probably be thinking “Father is handing me this so I should just take it” then I can picture him smirking like “wow look what happened!”.

My son knows what the Eucharist is but he doesn’t REALLY know what it is yet because he is young. This little boy in your church probably smirked just like a child would if his mom told him he couldn’t have a cookie but grandma handed him one anyway because she didn’t know what mom said.

I would pray for this family because the parents were probably mortified and embarassed and they would probably die if they thought fellow parishioners saw it and were going to talk to the priest about it.

Just my thoughts.


#18

#19

Much food for thought and interesting discussion.

Thanks for all the interesting replies and I’m sure his parents will deal with it without my interference.


#20

I am with you on this one. My 7 y/o grand daughter accompanies me to communion. She is in CCD class and will receive her first communion next year. When it’s my turn for communion, my grand daughter bows and steps aside. I would never discourage her from accompanying me.
Kathy


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