Age for first holy communion

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No change here (and none in the works that I’m aware of). Still 2nd grade; my son will be making his next spring, just a week or two before he turns 8. I’m in SW PA

I finally had a chance to reference the links that were sent all day. The “POLICY STATEMENT FOR THE PLACE OF CELEBRATION OF FIRST PENANCE AND FIRST HOLY COMMUNION” made the following reference appropriate to my situation:

“V. Private Catholic Schools which have had a long-standing tradition of celebrating First
Penance and First Holy Communion may continue to follow this practice. However, the
above guidelines are to be observed. The location chosen should be a chapel or an
appropriate place which ensures the sacredness of the event.”

This solves the location part of my dilemma. As I said previously, as much as I would like my daughter to be further initiated into the church, there is nothing wrong with waiting a few years. And even if she cannot make a true confession yet, I suppose there is nothing wrong with continuing to teach her about sin, and how she needs to ask God to forgive her when she disobeys His laws. At seven she is old enough to be responsible for her actions. (to a degree)

Thanks everyone for the input

Not necessarily.

Adults converting to the Church “receive” communion prior to sacramental reconciliation. And Eastern Catholics have always fully initiated people (whether adults or infants) via the Sacraments of Initiation (baptism, confirmation/chrismation, and Eucharist) without prior celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation.

The current practice in the Roman Catholic Church, for those baptized Catholic, is to celebrate Reconciliation prior to first Communion, but this is a discipline not set in stone.

Non-baptized adults do receive (why the quotes. btw?) Communion before their first Confession - because their baptism was minutes before hand. Those who are already baptized ought to be making their first Confession before receiving Communion, in accordance with St Paul’s admonition for each to examine himself.

The order, then is discipline built on doctrine, and should not be lightly cast aside. (Again, it would be very useful to read Quam Singulari, as the abuses it countered appear to be returning.)

Because I think “celebrate” is a better word than the apparently more common “receive.”

St. Paul’s admonition is not the basis for current sacramental practice.

no not always, and OP did not ask about adults entering the church, but school age children who are already Catholic, and she did not ask about the Eastern Church so that is also not at issue here. It is much less confusing for OP if her own questions are addressed without a lot of side issues.

but since you bring it up baptized adults who are entering the Church (all those over the age of reason) must confess before receiving first communion and confirmation. I this diocese it is particular law, which means it is derived from canon law so it is set in stone.

if and when along the way, even before the school or parish has set the “date for first confession” if you feel your daughter is ready and needs confession, and definitely if she asks for it, you may take her. Spend some time going over the procedure to allay any anxiety.

For those who have been Baptized recently, that takes the place of the requirement for Sacramental Reconcilliation. Which makes perfect sense, because the underlying requirment is for the person to be in a State of Grace. A newly Baptized person, such as a recently recieved Catechumen, or an infant, is in the state of Grace.

A baptized Protestant who is converting, however, is required to make a Sacramental Confession prior to the reception of Holy Communion.

My son, for example went on his 7th birthday, which was months before his class went.

Do remember though, that the standard that the Church desires is the level of understanding and preparation common to a 7 year old.

Anything on top of that is doing a disservice to the child by restricting them from a Sacrament from which they are then entitled.

The problem there is that the Eucharist is such a deep mystery, that no human can fully understand what they are about to do.

What the Latin Church does instead is to set a minimum level of understanding, that of your average 7 year old.

AMEN! That’s what people keep forgetting about Confirmation too. The 7 year old being confirmed does not need to “understand” and know the theology that you would expect a 16 or 17 year old to know & understand.

Certainly I remember some of the preparation for Confirmation that I did in grade 2 – still remember the birds with the various gifts of the Holy Spirit that were a mobile in the class room – that was almost 50 years ago. Did I have an adult understanding of the sacrament? Of course not, but I did understand that I would be receiving the Holy Spirit, just as the apostles had at Pentecost and that that would help me in my growing closer to God.

Exactly. And a lot of people also forget that Intellect is a power of the soul; and the soul (and therefore the Intellect) is strenghened by Grace.

Children are better able to learn about the Faith when they are being fed by the Sacraments.

Too many DRE’s think in the reverse.

I wasn’t responding to the OP, though. I was responding to the post I replied to, which did not distinguish between adults, children, etc. IT seemed to me to be an absolute statement that was not completely correct.

I do find it funny that some of you seem to cast the DRE as the bad guy. Catholic parishes are run by a pastor, who is the priest. Most of them know exactly what is going on in their parishes, and regularly meet with that DRE & allow the decisions that the DRE makes!!!

I also think it’s interesting that nobody here seems to think that there is a problem with a 7 year old receiving the Sacraments–so long as that child is prepared to receive. Many of the children entering the typical CCD class are nowhere near to being prepared! And I mean basic, rudimentary preparation! Many of these kids rarely, if ever, attend Mass (many are hatch 'em, match 'em, dispatch 'em types). I had over half of my class 2 weeks ago actually arguing with me that the Eucharist couldn’t be Jesus! It was just Bread, after all. Now, would you want a child who thought that the Eucharist was just bread to receive???

Just my thoughts…& I am a 2nd grade catechist in a program where the sacraments are now given in 3rd grade.:shrug:

bold mine

As you noted, everyone is talking about children who *are *prepared. A child who is prepared to receive the Eucharist and has reached the age of reason has the **obligation **to do so (provided of course they are properly disposed). These children must not be denied because the others are unready. Perhaps we need to break away from the “class” mentality, and leave the decision when each child receives to be between the priest (or his representative) and the parents, as Pope Pius mandated.

This is exactly what I’ve been talking about, too. In my parish, I’m the person in charge of organizing the Sacramental Preparation, and our policy is that it is up to the parents, what age the children receive each of the Sacraments. (This policy is coming from the Diocese; not from me.)

Because we do the sessions at the Church on Sundays, it makes it possible to be able to take any kid whose parent signs him up, without regard to “being the right age.” Some are older, and some are younger - the only criteria are that they have a Catholic Baptismal certificate, and their parents want them to receive the Sacrament.

Parents are actually very good judges of their children’s readiness, I have found, and so far, I’ve never had the situation of kids arguing with me about the Real Presence, or the need for Confession, or anything like that. They come into the class prepared to believe the teachings of the Church.

That’s a very interesting approach. I hadn’t heard of that before, but it makes a lot of sense. Thanks for that! :thumbsup:

No one is casting the DRE’s as the ‘bad guy’. I understand that you have a hard job, I have literally been there, done that :slight_smile: I worked with 8th graders preparing for Confirmation.

One of the things to keep in mind, however, is that when you do encounter those great little gems, those 2nd graders who’s families DO take them to Mass each Sunday, and have an understanding about that Eucharist that one should expect for a Catholic 7 year old, you have an obligation to recommend to the pastor that this child be admitted to Holy Communion.

It is a disservice to the child to hold them back simply because their classmates are under catechised. Those are the instructions from the Vatican and we cannot ignore them.

Take a look at the link CDNowak provided in post #3 of this thread. It applies equally to Holy Communion.

If you are the 2nd grade catechist in a diocese that offers FHC in the 3rd grade, one of your responsibilites is to look for those students that ARE prepared, or could be by spring, and make sure they are included in First Holy Communion that year.

Likewise, if one is the 7th grade catechist in a diocese that offers Confirmation to 8th graders, they too have to identify students that are prepared to recieve Confirmation.

We cannot let Bureaucracy get in the way of Grace.

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