First Holy Communion
The Holy Eucharist is “the source and summit of Christian life”. In the Eucharist each time Christ unites His Church and all her members with His sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once on the cross for all to His Heavenly Father. By renewal of this sacrifice, He pours out the graces of salvation on His Body which is the Church.
Holy Communion is the Body and Blood of Jesus which becomes present for us when the priest consecrates the bread and wine at Mass. Jesus gives Himself to us in Communion as a sign of God’s presence and to deepen our relationship with Him and His disciples.
Jesus said: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and. . . abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:51, 54, 56).
The First Holy Communion (FHC) is normally the second sacrament of initiation into membership in our Church.
- The Child shall normally be studying in the Fourth Standard or in other circumstances the minimum age is 8 years completed by the month of June
- A copy of the child’s Catholic baptismal certificate is required
- The parents must be FULLY REGISTERED members of the parish; they are expected to support the church financially by paying the Church Support regularly
- There is a six months preparation period (Good News Club classes) required for children receiving FHC at St. Anne’s. Classes in preparation are held every Sunday after the 8.00 am Children’s Mass. Attendance at these classes is compulsory. If a child misses more than 3 classes (sickness not included), they will forfeit their right to celebrate their FHC in the current year
- The primary importance to a child’s religious formation is the good example provided by the parents. The experience of a family attending Sunday Mass together is central to faith formation. “Drop off” situations are not encouraged.
- The parents can also foster religious formation by praying together, reading the Bible as a family regularly, the habit of blessing the child everyday etc
- Extra classes will be held during the Diwali Holidays. Attendance at these classes is also compulsory. The date and the timing of these classes will be announced at the appropriate time
- The Sacrament of First Reconciliation or Confession will be celebrated a few days prior to the date of receiving the First Holy Communion
- The date and time for confessions will be announced at the appropriate time
- A written test will be conducted by the FHC catechists in the month of November to assess the child’s understanding of the Sacrament of FHC and other religious teachings. The candidates who may not perform satisfactorily will be given an opportunity of a re-test. Students with special needs will be given special consideration
Parents are free to choose the attire for their children. However, simple white clothes are recommended. Girls should have their shoulders covered and avoid very short dresses. Parents and guests should also maintain decorum in the house of God and dress modestly. Boys may wear full white clothes, or white shirts with dark long pants. Sports shoes should be avoided.
- On the day of the FHC, the children will receive the host under both the species i.e. Bread and Wine. Subsequently to the FHC celebration, the children are encouraged to receive Communion in their hand.
There will be a full rehearsal in order to practice for the FHC celebration. The priest will be present at this practice. Both the parents are also requested to be present for the final rehearsal before the FHC, the date and time of which will be announced at an appropriate time.
The candles for the FHC will be provided by the church. After the end of FHC Eucharist blessed scapulars and rosaries will be given to the children.
Prior to the ceremony, parents will be required to attend a meeting. This meeting will provide instruction on how parents can prepare their children for the sacrament of Reconciliation and the sacrament of the Eucharist.
Please note: Purses, gloves, rosaries and other accessories can be worn for pictures before and after Mass, but should not be worn during the mass as these tend to distract the children.
The photographer for the FHC Eucharist will be provided by the church. No other photographer will be allowed during the FHC service. Individual photographers will be allowed only before and after mass. Likewise, videography is also not allowed, unless it can be done from a seated position in your assigned pew.
The FHC Certificates will be given only to those who are regular till the Sunday school closing day to be held in the last week of February. If your child remains absent from Catechism classes after the FHC, the child will miss out receiving the communion certificate.