first communion

what is the standard for first communion children taking the eucharist with their parents? our parish is wanting the children to take communion first with the parents taking later with the general congregation. due to this, the children will not be allowed to take the blood of christ.

it was my understanding that the american bishops have stated parents are to approach the eucharist with the first communicants. ???

[quote=outtawork]. due to this, the children will not be allowed to take the blood of christ.

???
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it is strongly recommended that first communicants receive Christ under both species, and there had better be a grave pastoral reason to deny them this right. If they are old enough canonically and properly disposed for first communion, they are old enough to receive under both forms. The parents being nearby is neither here nor there.

we just had a thread within the last couple of weeks on this hotly debated topic.

As with baptism, the parents bring the child to the sacrament, which ideally should take place during the Sunday assembly of the parish. The priest is free to make whatever changes are pastorally necessary, but when it comes to blurring the theology of the sacrament, that is another question.

[quote=outtawork]what is the standard for first communion children taking the eucharist with their parents? our parish is wanting the children to take communion first with the parents taking later with the general congregation. due to this, the children will not be allowed to take the blood of christ.

it was my understanding that the american bishops have stated parents are to approach the eucharist with the first communicants. ???
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I don’t know of statement by the Bishops on this. The children should have the option of receiving under either or both forms. A child however is not required to make their First Holy Communion with a group. A parent can simply take them to any Mass as long as they have met the catechetical requirements. I really think that we need to move away from this large group process and make it more family oriented. There can be 10 First Communicants sitting with their families at every Sunday Mass over the course of several weeks. I like that idea.

thanks for your responses. i guess i should explain the importance of the family being with the child during the first communion - we have been told the children will approach as a group (71 children) and therefore will not be offered the species of the wine since their parents are not with them…

unfortunately, parents will be in the congregation and this could be easily resolved by allowing parents to proceed with their child for communion…

how hard should i push for this? i feel very strongly that the children should be offered both species… thanks!

I still don’t understand the significance of the parents being with the child for them to received the Blood of Christ. Unless the parish fears that some parents will not want their child to receive the Blood and the child might do so anyway if the parent isn’t there to object?

What a shame that you cannot go up with your child and witness their reception for the first time! If my parish did it that way, I would have my children make their First Holy Communion on a different day during mass, as Brother Rich mentioned.

There is no reason for them to not offer the cup to the children. That is standard procedure here. As is the first communicants sitting with their classes as a group in the first few pews. Parents sit with the rest of the congregation which is just usually parents, grandparents , godparents, guests.The Children recieve as a group while the rest of the congregation remains seated or kneeling. Not every child recieves from the cup, but most do. If a parent did not want the child to do so they could instruct the child to just make a bow and pass by without approaching.I always got to the church early enough to get a seat where I could see the communion take place but I would not be heartbroken if I could not. After the last child recieves and has returned to his/her seat then the rest of the congregation is invited.
This is how I made mine 35 years ago and how it is done in my parish today.

Some parishes offer the option of the kids receiving at a regular parish Mass instead of with the group. We did this w/ our youngest and it was wonderful. Does your parish offer this? --KCT

thanks for all of your responses.

i feel very frustrated with this situation as i sit in parent meetings and the planning revolves around veils, tuxedos and party planning.

i hear the priest and DRE talk about the family being the primary teacher and watch the assigned movie about how to prepare your child for their first holy communion.

then i hear from the priest that the children will go up without their parents because it will “look better” than having families interspersed. and they can’t offer the wine because there are 71 children and they can’t remember who isn’t supposed to have it.

shouldn’t the children be able to be responsible at this point? they will be taking the most precious body and blood of jesus - there is a level of responsibility with that. :confused:

so i asked the priest if we could attend a different mass and approach as a family. and his response was “sure - the next weekend when you come to mass”. :eek:

i don’t feel that i am asking for any extraordinary measures in my child’s first reception. who can i turn to next?

thanks again for your support - we have until beginning of may to work this out. :thumbsup:

[quote=outtawork]what is the standard for first communion children taking the eucharist with their parents? our parish is wanting the children to take communion first with the parents taking later with the general congregation. due to this, the children will not be allowed to take the blood of christ.

it was my understanding that the american bishops have stated parents are to approach the eucharist with the first communicants. ???
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My experience is that it is typical for the First Communicants to approach the altar first and the parents to approach afterwards with the general congregation. My experience is that the parents are seated behind the First Communicants so they actually end up receiving before the rest of the congregation.

It is not necessary to receive under both species. You can not seperate the flesh from the blood, so in receiving Our Lord’s Body, you are also receiving His Blood. As Catholics, we are bound to believe this. It is not okay for Catholics to believe that you must receive under both species in order to receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord, or that receiving under both species is superior. The practice of receiving under both species has caused a lot of confusion in this area.

[quote=outtawork]thanks for all of your responses.
so i asked the priest if we could attend a different mass and approach as a family. and his response was “sure - the next weekend when you come to mass”. :eek:

i don’t feel that i am asking for any extraordinary measures in my child’s first reception. who can i turn to next?

thanks again for your support - we have until beginning of may to work this out. :thumbsup:
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what is the problem? the priest has given you the solution, let the DRE know your child will be making his first communion with the family next Sunday at the 9 am Mass or whatever. It is also your responsibility to instruct him in how to receive, in the hand or on the tongue, his preference, and to prepare him to handle and drink from the chalice. I strongly recommend practicing with real wine at home so he gets used to the taste, and learns the difference between a sip and a gulp.

from the rest of your post it sounds as if a couple of parents have been causing the problem, insisting that their child is not allowed to drink wine, obviously having not been properly instructed on the nature of the Precious Blood, so get mad at them, not the priest or DRE. They are trying to please everybody, a thankless task. the tipoff is the concern about “how it looks.” That only becomes important for the video, so obviously you have a strong pro-video minority who is driving this thing. The priest should ban videos and cameras and the problem would disappear, and your parish could return to considering the theology of the sacrament rather than the photo op.

[quote=outtawork]thanks for all of your responses.

i feel very frustrated with this situation as i sit in parent meetings and the planning revolves around veils, tuxedos and party planning.

i hear the priest and DRE talk about the family being the primary teacher and watch the assigned movie about how to prepare your child for their first holy communion.

then i hear from the priest that the children will go up without their parents because it will “look better” than having families interspersed. and they can’t offer the wine because there are 71 children and they can’t remember who isn’t supposed to have it.

shouldn’t the children be able to be responsible at this point? they will be taking the most precious body and blood of jesus - there is a level of responsibility with that. :confused:

so i asked the priest if we could attend a different mass and approach as a family. and his response was “sure - the next weekend when you come to mass”. :eek:

i don’t feel that i am asking for any extraordinary measures in my child’s first reception. who can i turn to next?

thanks again for your support - we have until beginning of may to work this out. :thumbsup:
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I would just simply go to a different Mass that Sunday. If you norm,ally go at 11:00AM go instead at 9:00. Your child can wear their First Holy Communion clothes and you can get up and receive as a family together. You have no obligation to receive with the group or to even argue the issue. I thought I had read somewhere that First Holy Communion should be offered under both forms, but I can’t find anything at the moment.

the particular law for our diocese strongly recommends (and it is also in the RCIA ritual book) that the first communicants receive under both forms if at all possible. The language actually gives permission for this, since at some times and places this practice has been or is still not common. At the time the RCIA rite was written communion under both kinds was not yet the norm.

RCIA 329 It is most desireable theat the newly baptized children, together with their godparents, parents, and catechists, receive communion under both kinds. . . .
The celebrant should also pay special attention to any previously baptized chldren of the catechetical group who at this celebration are to receive communion for the first time. These chldren, together with their parents, godparents, sponsors for confirmation, and catechists, may also receive communion under both kinds.

Bear in mind that the first communicants of the parish, who ideally should be receiving sometime during the Easter season, if Easter itself is not feasible, are all part of one class for catechetical purposes, whether or not they have been meeting at the same time or place with the same teachers. That, as a side note, is why Catholic school children are supposed to receive in their own parish, not in a separate school celebration, but that is an often disregarded guideline.

thanks for all of your thoughtful responses… we will be attending a different mass so that our family will be able to receive together. thank you for enforcing that god cares not what it “looks” like, but that we continue to seek him as the family he created. :thumbsup: signing off now - until later -

yes

[quote=outtawork]thanks for all of your thoughtful responses… we will be attending a different mass so that our family will be able to receive together. thank you for enforcing that god cares not what it “looks” like, but that we continue to seek him as the family he created. :thumbsup: signing off now - until later -
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It is important however that your child understand that reception under both forms is not required and may not always be available. Receiving under only the form of bread is still a full and complete Holy Communion.

[quote=outtawork]what is the standard for first communion children taking the eucharist with their parents? our parish is wanting the children to take communion first with the parents taking later with the general congregation. due to this, the children will not be allowed to take the blood of christ.

it was my understanding that the american bishops have stated parents are to approach the eucharist with the first communicants. ???
[/quote]

The parents get to receive the Blood of Christ? Wow!

My first communion will be at Easter Vigil and as far as I know, I will only receive the Body of Christ.

[quote=LeahInancsi]The parents get to receive the Blood of Christ? Wow!

My first communion will be at Easter Vigil and as far as I know, I will only receive the Body of Christ.
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No, you should be offered Holy Communion under both forms at the Easter Vigil.

Canonically speaking (I think), provided the first communicant is properly disposed, the pastor, or any extraordinary minister cannot deny the sacraments to the child.

So, theoretically, the child approaches and he/she must be allowed to receive. Provided of course the child isn’t running for congress and is in support of abortion rights, which seems like a longshot.

I agree with Brother, we really need to get out of the whole ‘show mass’ thing. At a parish I used to work at, families just signed up to come to a mass during the Easter season. It was usually only 2 or 3 families per mass, and at the time of reception, the priest stepped down along with an extraordinary minister who had the precious blood. All received, then the other extraordinaries went to their stations to continue the communion processional.

It makes things easier, plus more members of the community at large get to see the reception of the Easter sacraments…which is a good thing in my mind.

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]No, you should be offered Holy Communion under both forms at the Easter Vigil.
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Yes. Last night, I learned at RCIA baptism and confirmation rehearsal for Easter Vigil that we will receive the Blood of Christ. :smiley:

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