First Communion

First Communion: Students enrolled in Religious Education will be prepared to receive the sacrament during the latter part of the second semester of second grade.  Students who are older than second grade must attend sacramental preparation classes with the DRE and also attend a grade level class.

Theology of The Eucharist

The Eucharist is an inexhaustibly rich mystery of our faith.  No single theological theme defines it adequately.  No one way of describing it encompasses its meaning.

The Early Christians in their celebration of the Eucharist kept the basic elements of the prayer of thanks, the “Amen,” and the meal, because Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”  Their celebration was an attempt to constitute themselves as the community of the followers of Jesus.  An awareness of the presense of the Risen Christ in their midst was the source of life and unity of the community throughout the period of their persecution.

After the conversion of Emperor Constantine to Christianity in the fourth century, freedom was again accorded to the Christians to worship publicly.  It was only then because of the large number of Christians that the community began to celebrate their liturgy in public buildings rather than in their homes.  The liturgical rite was expanded.  Processions, hymns, readings from Scripture, and other prayers were added.  Yet the basic elements were not obscured and every Christian continued to participate actively in the sacrificial meal.

The Eucharist is given many names — The Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:20) or the Breaking of the Bread (Acts 2:42, 46) initially.  These names indicate that the Eucharist was experienced as a meal that recalled the Lord’s last supper with his disciples and renewed his sacramental act of sharing bread and wine, thus sharing his person and life with those who followed him.

It is called “Communion.”.  St. Paul used to emphasize the oneness of all Christians in a single body through partaking of the one bread and the one cup (1 Corinthians 10:16).  Christians were convinced that Jesus really made himself present to them each time they partook, uniting them in his own risen body as actual members of it.

The name “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving,” it recalls that Jesus gave thanks in the words of grace of blessing over the bread and the cup at his final meal with his disciples (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24; Mark 14:23; Matthew 26:27).

Catholic bishops, at the historical Vatican II Council (1962-1965) described the Eucharist in several ways- including sacrifice, memorial, sacrament of love, sign of unity, bond of charity, paschal banquet.  They, too, recognized that the Eucharist is the “focus of all the great realities of faith…the heart and center of Christian life.”

The following gospel stories would help your child to know and understand the Eucharistic feast:

  • “Institution of the Eucharist” (Mark 14:22-26 and Luke 22:7-20)
  • “The Last Supper” (Matthew 26:20-30 and John 15:30)
  • “Jesus Feeds Five Thousand” (Matthew 14:13-21)
  • “Multiplication of the Loaves” (John 6:1-15)
  • “Preparing the Passover Meal” (Mark 14:12-16)
  • “The Wedding Banquet” (Matthew 22:1-10)
  • “Disciples on the road to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13-35)
  • “Commission of the Apostles” (Matthew 28:19)

What are the requirements for godparents (sponsors)?

Godparents are members of the Christian community who, by their lives and their faith, set a good example of the child they are sponsoring.  Godparents also support the parents in the upbringing of the child as a Catholic Christian.  They should be able to stay in communication with the child as he or she is growing up.

  • A godparent promises to support and assist the parents in raising the child in the Catholic faith and be a mentor to the child in the Catholic faith.
  • Usually a child has two godparents, but only one is necessary.
  • Godparents must be at least 16 years of age, be a practicing Catholics in good standing, and have celebrated the Sacraments of Baptism, Eurharist, and Confirmation.
  • A Non-Catholic person to be a sponsor/witness as long as there is a godparent that is Catholic and in good standing with the Catholic Church.

When and where is the Baptism celebrated?

The Baptism may be celebrated during a Mass or following a Mass.  Once the Baptismal Class has been taken, the parents will contact Father Hughes at the church and set up an appointment to schedule a time.