About First Holy Communion

Help for non-catholics or Catholics who need a refresher

First Communion is the name given to the occasion in the life of a Roman Catholic when he or she first receives the consecrated body and blood of Jesus under the appearance of bread and wine. In the United States it is typically received by children around the second grade. For teens and adults it is generally received for the first time at the Easter Vigil, during which those entering into the Church will as needed be baptized, make a profession of Faith and receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

One of the seven sacraments of the Catholic church, Communion is considered a "Sacrament of Initiation". It, along with Baptism and Confirmation, are the three sacraments associated to "becoming" fully Catholic. Among these three, Communion is the only which may be received more than once. In fact, Catholics are encouraged to receive Communion frequently, even daily. Communion is considered the "source and summit" of the Christian life as through it we receive the real complete presence of Jesus.

It is also referred to as:
First Eucharist
First Holy Communion
First Reconciliation, should precede reception of First Communion. The celebration of First Communion is traditionally an occasion shared with extended family and friends.  In many families, this event calls for a party. As a result, there are a number of traditional gifts related to First Communion. For a non Catholic attending a Catholic First Communion, we suggest the following helpful gift resources.
Gifts related to the celebration for First Communion are religious in nature. This is not the time to give an I-Tunes gift card or an personal electronic device as those would be considered crass and inappropriate. Rather gifts are meant to commemorate the day (frames, figurines..), encourage the practice of the faith (prayer books, rosaries...) or further the child's understanding of God (bibles, and bible story books).