First Holy Communion

Receiving the Holy Eucharist for the first time

The Eucharist

The Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith: it is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Pope Francis has called it the “Sacrament of Love”:

“The Eucharist is at the heart of ‘Christian initiation’, together with Baptism and Confirmation, and it constitutes the source of the Church’s life itself. From this Sacrament of love, in fact, flows every authentic journey of faith, of communion, and of witness.”

First Holy Communion is a big deal for children. It should be for adults too. No matter how many times we have received our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, it should always be a big deal.

What makes it so special the first time is the same thing that makes it special every time.

Jesus comes to us in a unique way in the Eucharist. When He comes, we receive Him into our body and our soul. This is very beautiful, personal, and intimate and we should not take it for granted.

This is why the first time a family member makes their Holy Communion, it is an exciting event for the whole family. The child preparing for this sacrament is going to be profoundly united with Jesus in a way that they never have before!

It is such a holy, joyful occasion. Our souls become the bride of Christ. That is why girls wear white dresses and boys wear suits. We celebrate and the very act of celebrating reveals our belief in the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

It’s “Communion” rather than “First” that makes it special

Father Roger Landry of the Diocese of Fall River in New England says,

“ … what makes one’s first Communion a truly blessed event is not the adjective but the substantive: not the ‘first’ but the ‘communion.’ Because of whom we receive, the second, third, next, and last Communion should always be as special.”

Unfortunately, for many of us Catholics, First Holy Communion has become simply a right of passage. The essence of the celebration is lost among the parties and gifts. “Parties and gifts are fine,” says one priest, “as long as the focus never strays from what the celebration is truly about.”

First Holy Communion is, without question, a time of great joy. The saints in heaven, who are delighted to intercede for us, are celebrating along with your family. (Text from the Catholic Company website)

Preparing for Reconciliation and First Holy Communion

This is a parish-based programme, which recognises the central role of parents in the development of their children’s faith. It explores the many gifts given to us by way of a journey to Reconciliation and the Eucharist. The preparation programme is only for those children who will be receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion within the Catholic Parish of Bishop’s Stortford and not elsewhere. Each child is prepared so that they may have sufficient knowledge in their own capacity to understand the mystery of Christ in reconciliation and Holy Communion.

The First Holy Communion Programme is led by a group of dedicated catechists who are directed by Fr Matthew. The programme comprises a series of sessions/classes plus additional activities involving both the children and their parents.