Hi all. I need some advice. I have an 8 year old niece who received her First Holy Communion in June this year. My younger sister and I have drummed in our nieces head that Holy Communion should not be received unless a person has been to confession. She attends a Catholic School and during school they have numerous masses. She is truly a special little girl for she will not approach Holy Communion if she hasn’t been to confession (and knows that she has missed mass due to her parents not taking her, or been bad, as she puts it). She is one of the only ones and the teachers constantly tell her that she can take it. Most of the time she wont. Now she is an altar girl, and again she stands back when Holy Communion is distributed.
My problem is this, I know that children are not capable of committing mortal sin, especially where she is unable to go to church on a Sunday, she cannot drive obviously and its her parents sin for not taking her. I have seen so many people who as children were told they can receive Holy Communion when they were little if they hadn’t been to confession, only problem is now as adults they have the same mentality that they don’t need to go to confession and participate in Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin. I DO NOT want my niece missing out on receiving our sweet Jesus so how can I explain to my niece that whilst she is young she can receive the Eucharist but must attend confession as much as possible. I really don’t want her to loose this strong hold she has that confession is an absolute must if she wants to receive the Eucharist more so when she is older. Nowadays its so confusing for children, I don’t want to tell her something that may jeopardize how she believes when she grows older. Her mother (my sister) is not that religious so I only have religious support from my younger sister. Your advice on how I should approach my niece would be very much appreciated!