First Holy Communion

Father Paul MacNeil

Along with the Sacrament of Baptism, 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. We receive the Holy Eucharist for the first time during the First Holy Communion. The Holy Eucharist refers to Christ’s body, blood, soul, and divinity that are truly present in the consecrated host and wine (now called the Body and Blood of Christ) on the altar. For us as Catholics, there is nothing greater than to receive Jesus, truly present in the Eucharist at Mass. "If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion." - St. Maximilian Kolbe

First Holy Communion is considered one of the holiest and most important occasions in a Roman Catholic person’s life. It is the first time that a person receives the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, in which they consume to the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Most Catholic children receive their First Holy Communion when they are 7 or 8 years old as this is considered the age of reason. 

Older people can receive communion for the first time when they have met all of the Catholic Church’s requirements. If you are an adult, 18 years or older, who is seeking more information on how to become a member of the Catholic Church, or if you are a baptized Catholic and have never received First Holy Communion, please refer to The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) for further information.

If your child is approaching second grade, or a little older; we want to assist you in raising your child in the faith. Below are some of the frequently asked questions to help you understand the process of having your child receive First Holy Communion. If you have any further questions, please call our Educational Coordinator, Kathleen Parr at 905-358-7611.

What is necessary for my child to receive First Holy Communion?


At a minimum, your child must:
• Be baptized in the Catholic Church, or have been received formally into the Catholic Church. • If your child is older than second grade, we may require further catechesis. Each situation is different, please contact the parish office. • Have received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Instruction for this sacrament will take place before instruction for First Holy Communion. The reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation will take place a few months before First Holy Communion.




When does First Holy Communion take place?


First Holy Communion for children traditionally takes place during the Easter season. For more information, please check with your child's teacher.




What else is necessary for my child to receive First Holy Communion?


Traditionally, young Catholic children will make their first confession, also called the Sacrament of Reconciliation, before receiving their First Holy Communion. But confession is not the only requirement for receiving the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist; the Sacrament of Baptism must have been received as well. A child, or any person, who has not been baptized cannot receive communion.




What if my child wants to receive First Holy Communion but is not Catholic?


Situation A: Your child has been baptized in another Christian denomination (I.e.: Anglican) If your child has been baptized in another Christian denomination, they would have to be formally received into the Catholic Church. This would include making a Profession of Faith.For more information, please contact the parish office. Situation B: Your child has not been baptized and at least one parent is Catholic If your child has not been baptized but at least one parent is Catholic, your child may be baptized according to the Rite of Baptism for Children. For more information, please contact the parish office. Situation C: Your child has not been baptized and neither parent is Catholic If your child has not been baptized and neither parent is Catholic, one or both of the parents would be required to enter The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). This process begins in September and is completed at the Easter Vigil. For more information, please contact the parish office.