First Holy Communion Preparation
We are happy to help your child prepare for and to recieve first communion. “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life'” (Catechsim of the Catholic Church 1323), receiving Christ himself. What a great gift to give to your child. At St. James, we use a mixture of both parish and home based actities in order to prepare your child for communion. Learn more about the preparation process below or Contact Us with further questions.
Step 1: Become Part of the Community
One of the most important parts of preparing for First Holy Communion is to be in communion with the rest of the body of Christ. This means weekly Mass attendance and coming to other parish events in order to grow in your faith and build relationships with the community. To begin this process, Learn How to become parishioners at St. James.
Step 2: Ongoing Religious Education
Any child who would like to receive sacraments (confession, confirmation, communion) at St. James is required to be involved in ongoing religious education at home and in the parish, and or at school. Learn More about monthly childrens religious education at St. James and register for the program.
Step 3: Assessing Readiness for First Holy Communion
Preparation for communion can begin when the child has reached the age of reason (unless mental disabilities preclude this. See below). This normally takes place sometime between the age of 7 and 11. Reasoning ability can be recognized by the ability to distinguish between right and wrong and the ability to express sorrow and to ask for forgiveness.
The child also needs to show readiness by
- asking to receive the sacrament*
- being able to renew baptismal promises
- attending Sunday Mass along with the family.
Meeting with the priest
The parents will then schedule an an appointment so that the child can meet with Fr. Mayer. This meeting provides opportunity for Father to affirm with the parents that the child is indeed ready. Also at this meeting he will assess the current faith formation of the child and any weak areas that need to be especially attended to.
Those with mental disabilities that preclude the ability to reason are to receive their sacraments along with their peer group and do not need to show the ordinary readiness indicators.
Step 4: Sacramental Preparation
Preparation to receive the sacraments consists of a combination of family activities completed at home and workshops at the parish. To prepare for each workshop you will be given a box of materials which contain everything that you need to lead a handful of easy, fun, interactive lessons to help your child get ready for the sacrament workshops.
Sacrament Workshop Dates:
- January 22, 2023, 12-2 PM, First Reconciliation
- March 26, 2023, 12-2 PM, Confirmation
- April 30, 2023, 12-2 PM, First Communion
Step 5: Consider having your child Confirmed prior to receiving Communion
The Church teaches that First Communion is ideally received after being Confirmed rather than before since “The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation” according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1322). This would mean that the child would be confirmed at the same Mass in which he or she received First Holy Communion.
Learn more by reading about the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Step 6: Support Your Parish
There is no charge for the preparation or administration of the sacraments. However, all Catholics have the obligatory duty of providing for the material needs of their parish. It costs the parish around $100 for materials alone for each sacrament that the child receives. You are asked that your regular offertory giving, covers this cost. If financial inability prohibits this, please give as you are able and the community will happily cover the rest.
First holy communion Mass Date
Tentative: Corpus Christi Sunday, June 2, 2024, 8:00 AM and 10:15 AM.