First Communion

Catechesis for Children’s First Reception of the Eucharist

Children’s preparation for first reception of the Eucharist begins in the home. The family has the most important role in communicating the Christian and human values that form the foundation for a child’s understanding of the Eucharist. Children who participate with their family in the Mass, experience the Eucharistic mystery in an initial way and gradually learn to join with the liturgical assembly in prayer.

Aims of our First Communion Preparation Program

  • Teaches that the Eucharist is the living memorial of Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of all and the commemoration of his last meal with his disciples
  • Teaches not only “the truths of faith regarding the Eucharist but also how from First Communion on . . . they can as full members of Christ’s Body take part actively with the People of God in the Eucharist, sharing in the Lord’s table and the community of their brothers and sisters”
  • Ensures that the baptized have been prepared, according to their capacity, for the Sacrament of Penance prior to their First Communion
  • Develops in children an understanding of the Father’s love, of their participation in the sacrifice of Christ, and of the gift of the Holy Spirit
  • Teaches that “the Holy Eucharist is the real body and blood of Christ” and that “what appear to be bread and wine are actually His living body”
  • Teaches the difference between the Eucharist and ordinary bread
  • Teaches the meaning of reception of the Holy Eucharist under both species of bread and wine
  • Helps them to participate actively and consciously in the Mass
  • Helps children to receive Christ’s Body and Blood in the informed and reverent manner

Text from NDC (National Directory for Catechesis) pages 126 – 128

First Communion Preparation Program

A child must be enrolled in our Religious Education Program or a Catholic School to participate in our First Communion Program. Contact our Religious Education Office for other requirements and/or information. 718-322-7700/7701.