Preparing Your Child for Their First Communion

child praying in First Communion dress

Holy Communion — or the Eucharist — is the source and summit of everything we do as Catholics. In the Catholic faith, children take their first Communion at the age of reason, which is usually at 7 or 8 years old. They receive the Eucharist, or the body and blood of Christ for the first time. This is one of the three sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church. This is a great time for celebration and as such, families will usually have a big celebration afterwards. Here’s how you can prepare your child for this important event in their spiritual life: 

Attend Mass as a Family

Bring your child to Mass every Sunday and days of Holy obligation. Show them how important and special it is to receive the body and blood of Christ through the Eucharist. Get them excited about the fact that it will be their turn soon. Attending Mass will also help your child become more engaged in their faith and feel connected with other believers.

Explain the Real Presence of Christ

Explain to your child that the Eucharist is not just a symbol, but the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. It is during the Mass, when the priest calls down the Holy Spirit and the miracle of Transubstantiation occurs and the bread and wine becomes Jesus’ body and blood while still appearing as bread and wine.

Consider this when you talk to your child about Communion. Talk about “receiving His body and blood” rather than “taking the bread and the wine” as you prepare. Read from the Bible with your child from John chapter 6 to show them where Jesus himself instituted this sacrament and told us to do this.

priest serving Communion

Practice the Steps

Go through the motions with your child using small crackers and sparkling grape juice. Here’s how you can help your child practice the steps of taking a First Communion: 

  • Show your child how to fold their hands to make a throne and bow their head slightly to show reverence. Remember, your child’s dominant hand goes on the bottom and their non-dominant hand on top. 
  • Say “the body of Christ” like a priest would and have them respond “Amen.”
  • Have your child consume the cracker and juice immediately.
  • Then, have them fold their hands in prayer and walk to another seat in the room.

First Communion is an important time in a Catholic child’s life, and the preparation starts at home. Our Orlando Catholic school located in the Catholic Diocese of Orlando encourages children to live in their faith. Our staff is committed to proclaiming the Gospel Message of Jesus Christ. We believe in teaching the whole child and want students to love learning, helping them grow into well-rounded, contributing members of society. Learn more about us by contacting us here.