Children preparing for First Communion must:
- complete a minimum of two consecutive years of Christian Formation
- be in second grade or higher when they receive First Communion
- reflect an age appropriate understanding God's love, his forgiveness, and his presence in the Eucharist
- begin to understand the essential nature of our Baptismal call to active participation as Disciples of Christ
Children who are not prepared for participation in second year activities may need to repeat the first year before moving to the second year.
Normally, First Reconciliation is celebrated during the season of Lent and First Eucharist is celebrated during the Easter Season of the second year. Specific schedules are prepared for each year.
Birth Certificates and Baptism Certificates and custodial parent records must be on file before your child can receive first Reconciliation or First Communion. If your child was baptized in an Orthodox or Protestant denomination, he or she will need to make a Profession of Faith before receiving first confession.
There is no rehearsal for First Reconciliation and there is no special dress code for First Reconciliation. However, children (and accompanying adults) should be modestly dressed in a manner that is appropriate for church. Avoid shorts, costumes, athletic uniforms, cheer leader uniforms, dance uniforms, etc. Children coming for First Reconciliation are here to celebrate a sacrament and need to be dressed accordingly.
The children will be taught the essentials of how to go to confession in class, but parents are encouraged to work with your child at home to help him or her become comfortable with confession. Children must know, by heart, the basic prayers of the church and the Act of Contrition well before making their first confession. The children should be encouraged to say the Act of Contrition every day as part of prayer at bedtime.
The celebration of first confession here at Our Lady of Lourdes is a beautiful experience that requires that at least one parent be present.
Practice for First Communion is normally held within two weeks of the date your child is scheduled for First Communion. Your child's attendance at the scheduled practice is required and failure to attend may make it necessary to change the date for celebrating the First Communion. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend this practice, but parental attendance is not mandatory.
Issues involving specific schedules, videotaping, photography, and appropriate dress for parents, guests, and children, etc. are addressed at parent meetings that are scheduled as the time for celebrating the sacraments approaches.