First Communion for Special Needs Child?

Hello everyone. My question is if First Communion can ever be offered privately? I have a special-needs son who will be in second grade this year. I am homeschooling him using a Catholic curriculum because of sensory issues that make attending a traditional classroom very difficult for him. He has problems during a normal Mass where he will feel ill, or have to leave suddenly, or even faint or vomit. We try to sit near the back to minimize disruption but we usually have to leave halfway through and get him into the fresh air.

He is excited about his First Holy Communion, but I know all the ceremony and pressure will do him in. My concern is for the other participants and their families. This is such an important day and we would not want to ruin anyone’s memories of First Communion if it can be avoided. I am hesitant to approach our parish priest because my son has had problems in Mass before and he has been less than sympathetic, to say the least. Is a private First Communion ceremony possible? Thank you so much for your help.

Talk to your pastor. Although it’s highly recommended that First Communion be received at a Sunday Mass,there is no reason why your son couldn’t receive Jesus for the first time at a daily Mass where there are few people and still have it be special.

Call the DRE in your parish and explain the situation, they should be able to make special arrangements to accomdate your son. Be sure to mention his vomiting, that could be an issue.


I concur with what the other posters said. I just wanted to say that I will be praying for your son. We all need the Body of Christ, regardless of any condition that we have. I am sorry that your parish priest has not been so understanding. God bless you and your son:)

It is even possible that the First Holy Communion could be done in the home. For my sister, that is the way that she had it. She does not have any special needs. However, I do. I attended regular CCD classes but had severe learning disabilities at the time. So, like they said, maybe a daily mass. You could also have a private mass for him with just a few relatives. Ask the pastor and also the DRE.

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