First Holy Communion

Along with the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, First Holy Communion is one of our three sacraments of initiation. It is through these sacraments of initiation that we become full members of the Church. When your child was baptized you promised to bring them up in the Catholic faith, now that they are growing up they are ready to understand and celebrate their faith for themselves far more with your continued support of course.

The Eucharist (from the Greek eucharistia, "thanksgiving") is the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, in which He is present under the forms of bread and wine offering Himself in the Sacrifice of the Mass and giving Himself as spiritual food to the faithful.

It is during First Holy Communion that we receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time. For us as Catholics, there is nothing greater than to receive Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist at Mass.

The First Holy Communion Programme

The parish preparation programme for First Holy Communion is for children aged 7-8yrs (starting Year 3 in September of the following year) or older. The programme starts in November and runs until June of the following year. Classes take place in school term time once a month on Tuesday evenings from 6.30 – 7.15pm at Our Lady’s church.

The children’s sessions prompt them to explore their faith with more depth although still in an age-appropriate framework. Each session we look at "Gods Greatest Gifts" from the gift of creation itself to our own baptism when our parents promised to raise us in the Catholic faith. These sessions are lead by "catechists" who teach the children whilst parents are welcome to stay and talk together.

The First Holy Communion Programme for 2016/17 is available from the parish office.

To be eligible to receive the sacrament of First Holy Communion, your child must:

  • be baptised in the Catholic Church, or another Christian denomination recognised by the Catholic Church.
  • be enrolled in our parish First Holy Communion programme. If your child is older than seven years the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC). RCIC is a programme of instruction that can “catch up” your child’s religious instruction. Please speak to Father Michael if this is the case.
  • have received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Instruction for this sacrament will take place at the same time as instruction for First Holy Communion. The reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation will take place a few weeks before First Holy Communion.
  • parents of children not baptised at Our Lady’s need to show Father their child’s baptismal certificate.