First Holy Eucharist, not on Sunday?

I haven’t widely researched this, just hoping someone can point me toward a solid answer/source…
Our parish has sometimes had children receive First Holy Eucharist as a class, sometimes individually, sometimes part of the class together and part individually. So if individually is a readily accepted option this year, I’m just curious if other Masses besides those on Sunday are permissible–perhaps a Marian Holy Day, or a First Saturday; is a weekday out of the question? I’ve seen Confirmation on a weeknight but have only seen First Holy Eucharist on a Sunday. Just curious if it is something the Church asks.
Thanks, Learning123

I have never seen anything indicating that it must be on a Sunday. However, I personally think there is some value in receiving First Communion on a Sunday in the presence of the larger parish community (usually not present on weekdays), a “smaller version” of the universal Church into which the child is being initiated.

Thanks. I think that’s my gut feeling too. Just curious as to potential options. A Holy Day Mass might even be more full than most Sunday Masses (fewer time choices).

It used to be the custom here (many moons ago) that First Holy Communion was received on Corpus Christi which was always on a Thursday. All the classmates received together and, as it was a Holyday of obligation, it would be at a high Mass.

Nowadays, we have a later Mass on a Sunday especially for first Communion so that family and friends can be accomodated.

Neat. I remember our class receiving sometime prior to Corpus Christi. Our class wore the same clothes on Corpus Christi, and I think we carried flowers near the front of the procession around the church grounds to each of the altars.

We used to wear our Communion dresses for the Crowning of our Lady in May. All gone now! I wore my Communion dress for my Confirmation 3 years later and it still fitted. I reckon it was a miricle. :wink:

There is no rule prohibiting First Communion from being on a weekday but the Church does have a preference for Sunday:

**REDEMPTIONIS SACRAMENTUM
**[87.] The First Communion of children must always be preceded by sacramental confession and absolution.[169] Moreover First Communion should always be administered by a Priest and never outside the celebration of Mass. Apart from exceptional cases, it is not particularly appropriate for First Communion to be administered on Holy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper. Another day should be chosen instead, such as a Sunday between the Second and the Sixth Sunday of Easter, or the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, or the Sundays of Ordinary Time, since Sunday is rightly regarded as the day of the Eucharist.[170]

I coordinate 1st HC at my parish. We are a rather large parish (2700 families) and will have 150 little angels receive the Lord for the first time this May. 20 years ago we were able to have them celebrate this day during our regular Sunday Masses, but we only had 10 kids each year. Now we are still in the same sanctuary and not able to accommodate many more people at the regular Masses. We choose Saturdays to make it easier for friends and family from out of town to attend.

In January we will begin a capital campaign for a new/larger sanctuary.

Sacraments are ordinarily celebrated in the context of Sunday Mass, but it is a preference not an absolute rule. Most parochial schools also ignore the preference that 1st communion be celebrated during Sunday Mass in the child’s own parish, not with a separate school celebration. Most schools I have been associated with have their own celebration on a weeknight or Saturday afternoon (which automatically means that many if not most families do not even attend regular Sunday Mass that week).

I have 90 2nd graders, and another 80 over the “normal” age for first communion this year, no way to have one celebration for all on a Sunday, or even one class (we can seat 330 squeezed in on the ground floor another 50 in the balcony, and all weekend Masses are packed). We spread them out over the Sundays after Easter, reserving no more than 10 pews for any one Mass for candidates, sponsors and families. With 1st communion, as with baptism, it is supposed to be the parents and godparents who bring the child to the sacrament, so they should receive with their families. Which makes it even more heartbreaking that at least half the parents do not receive, usually because of marriage issues.

Sunday is of course the prime Holy Day of the Christian week. However First Holy Communion can be received at any Mass where at least some of the parish faithful are present, because the Sacraments are celbrated within the parish community.

Thank you. That actually clears up another question I had been debating. I had read a different archdiocese’s guide concerning the celebration itself. It was nice to have such detail readily available. It did say that First Communicants needed to be willing to receive from a lay minister during the celebration, not only the priest. That struck me as odd, but I figured that had to do with large classes as some here have mentioned having (whereas I think ours is less than 20 total). Redeptionis Sacramentum lists newer sources than the archdiocese guide, so perhaps in practice they now have the First Communicants receive from the priest.

(from archmil.org/resources/userfiles/1stcomm.pdf) Sometimes parents prefer that their child receive communion from a priest rather than a lay minister, even if the priest has not been present for the entire liturgy. The reasons for this preference need to be uncovered and appropriate catechesis given. The focus needs to be on the body and blood of Christ and not the minister.

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