Tasting the bread and wine before First Communion

I have never heard of this, but wanted to see what all of you all think. My dd will be receiving her First Communion at the end of April. The DRE told us tonight that a letter of permission will be coming home with our children asking us to give permission for the children to taste the bread and wine. She wants the students to taste it and not be surprised on their special day and make an ugly face. Has anyone ever heard of this? I never did this in my preparation. She did make it clear that the bread and wine will not be consecrated.

I’ve never heard of it, but at least with the wine, I’m not certain that’s not a good idea. Children don’t commonly drink wine and that may be a wise precaution.

As long as the DRE doesn’t intend to give the poor children multiple chug-a-lugs of altar wine I think it’s an excellent idea.

Kids do tend to make the most awful faces when they taste wine for the first time, so it’s best to give them a preview.

Growing up in a family of European descent, we from an early early age would have the occasional (Christmas Easter and birthdays) very small and highly watered down sip of wine or champagne. It’s good to demystify alcohol for children in this way, and IMHO makes them less susceptible to problems with alcohol as they get older.

The Sister who is working with my son’s First Communion class sent home two unconsecrated hosts for us to talk about and practice with. I think it was a good idea. Our children do not receive from the cup at First Communion but can receive when both forms are offered at other Masses.


Our parish does this as well. The altar bread can be just as foreign of a taste as the wine; it’s good to make sure they’re prepared.

Our Parish does this on one of the Learning Stations that we go to as a parent/child team in preparation for recieving the Sacrament. The children taste the wine and bread–it’s made very clear it’s NOT consecrated.


When I taught, years ago, we also allowed them to taste and practice with the bread.

We did not with the wine, and since I was sitting in front, I could see all the children making faces, on that special day. We should have let them taste that too. :shrug:

I also remember practicing with the bread when I made my First Communion. And that seems like it was in the Dark Ages. :ehh:

Forgot to mention that we practice with unconsecrated hosts with our RCIA candidates and elect before they receive their First Communion as well. It is much easier to practice when you actually have something to receive.:thumbsup:

We practice letting them go up, taking the host from the minister, and then going over and taking the wine (all non consecrated). We tell them just let the wine touch their lips. This whole exercise eases the anxiety for the kids during their First Communion. You would be surprised how many forget what to say after “The Body of Christ”, or forget other stuff - it’;s as mechanical to them as learning to ride a bike, at first.

The parents are in total agreement this is a good use of time. We wrap around it a review of all the different things in the Church plus teach them CHurch manners as we call it - what to do from coming in the door and onward.

As a child I was throughly confused by the practice of walking up and receiving the unconsecrated host. It was carefully explained to us that it was unconsecrated, but I really missed that there was a difference. They kind of did a walk through of consecration so that probably added to the problem. But, at my actual First Communion I remember thinking that it must be the dressy clothes that made it special now. Hey I was 7!

I like the idea of sending the hosts home to discuss and practice. I would have been less confused by taking the context of the two things apart. Walking up and saying all the words and going through the motions was what they did at my niece’s First Communion practice. The priest made the motions but had nothing in his hand.

I like the idea of tasting both first but I would support the idea of it being outside the context of rehearsal for the Sacrament. But, with that said, I might have been the only kid who was confused by it.

When I was preparing for my First Communion, we practiced with the unconcecrated host, although I don’t remember trying the wine. They made it very clear to us that this was NOT Jesus, but that it would be Jesus when we received Him that day. It helped us learn how to receive the Eucharist properly and gracefully, and I thought it helped a lot!

When I received my first communion back in the early 80’s, we practiced with both unconscrated host and wine. I think it is a good idea since most kids aren’t used to the taste.

Yes we do this at our parish. honestly I think it’s a great idea and seriously doubt there is any thimng wrong with it.

As others have mentioned we need to be carefull about stressing the real presence.

When our students practiced inside the church, our Knights of Columbus were there. They stood in for the priest.

For that time, instead of receiving practice hosts and wine, they received rosaries and instruction cards for the rosary. But it taught them how to walk up, what to say and things like that.

I agree when they are inside the church, receiving from the Priest, it would be a little confusing that it isn’t the real thing.

the DRE has to have the parent’s permission to allow the children to taste the wine. We practice in CCD with cranberry juice, because has more of a bite than grape juice, and with unsalted wheat thins and oyster crackers, which are very dry, because pastor does not allow us to practice with actual unconsecrated hosts. We strongly urge the parents to allow children to taste wine at home so they do not react. Some children over-react to any strange taste. We also warn parents about the gag reflex. It is hardly reverent for a child to spray the precious blood all over. We also use this as a teaching moment, to say the Catholic Church has not prohibition against wine or any alcohol in moderation, and point out that wine was normal food for Jesus and his friends in their day.

We practice as much as we can, but there is not much we can do to prepare children whose parents seldom bring them to Mass. We do not practice receiving in church, to avoid confusion, but we do practice processing, genuflecting, posture etc. However CCD is primarily time for instruction, not rehearsal. Most of this is the parents’ job, not ours. We also practice receiving both in the hand and on the tongue, but if the children seldom see people receiving on the tongue, it does not have much effect. Most receive as they see their parents or other adults doing. Since at least half the children have parents who cannot or do not go to communion, we have an uphill battle.

Yes we did this in the second grade. I thought it was nice and very special:D

My son’s class is going to practice with unconsecrated host and wine. I think this is a great idea. Eons ago when I made my first communion there was a kid who took the consecrated host out of his mouth because he didn’t like how it tasted. This was during our actual first communion! At that time we only practiced walking up and that was before it was common to receive in the hand. I’m glad my son will get this practice before first communion. He has already told me he is nervous. I certainly wouldn’t want him to treat Jesus’ body with disrespect on his first communion. I think at his age he can easily understand what is practice and what is the real event.

I definitely support allowing the kids to taste both the bread and the wine ahead of time.

**I converted in '05 and I wish someone had prepared me for the taste of the real bread used for Communion. I don’t really like bread and have a well developed gag reflex.:rolleyes: **

** Of course, when I approached for my first Communion, the EMHC chose the biggest piece off the plate . It really didn’t help that it was undercooked and gooey…it took all of my willpower to not gag:o.**

If I had that much trouble, I can’t imagine being a young child and trying to control myself!


We did this when I was a child. In face, our CCD class took a trip to the place where they made the bread. I don’t remember much about it except it comes out in this huge sheet and they press something down on it that cuts the circles out. I thought it was the COOLEST when I was little. and I thought it tasted really yummy :slight_smile: I think it’s a great idea for children to taste it. I remember the first time I sipped the wine, I though “well at least the bread is good” :slight_smile:

I think it’s a good idea to let the children practice with the real wine and hosts as long as they are not consecrated (sry about spelling). I’m still in RCIA and will be reccieved into the church at Easter and even though I’m an adult, I still worry about recieving my first communion wrong. Children are much more likely to forget what to do or say when they have to walk up in front of everybody. If they know what it will taste like they may feel more at ease.

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