First Holy Communion at the Sacred Heart church
When does it take place?Baptised Roman Catholic children generally receive Holy Communion for the first time in Year 3 of Primary School, around May or June.. However, if parents feel that their child will be too young at that stage to understand what they are doing, it is possible to defer this moment to a later time.Where does a child receive its First Communion?Normally a child receives their First Holy Communion in the parish in which they live, after a period of preparation which is organised by the parish concerned. Each parish makes its own arrangements, and determines how long the immediate preparation should be, and when that preparation takes place.The Sacred Heart Parish will be happy to accept children from other parishes attending the Sacred Heart School for the immediate preparation leading to First Holy Communion, provided that their family have been attending Mass regularly at the Sacred Heart church since, or before, the child began their schooling.Families attending Mass at St. Mary’s CollegeFamilies who normally participate at Mass in St. Mary’s College will need to prepare their child through their local parish, as the College does not organise such preparation.. Those who normally attend a national church (eg. one of the Polish churches) or the Cathedral should first check with those churches about the arrangements for First CommunionWhat preparation is required?For a child to receive their First Holy Communion their parish priest has to have evidence that they have prepared sufficiently. In this parish there is an expectation that in addition to attending the Sunday preparatory sessions the child has been attending Mass on a weekly basis with at least one of their parents for at least one year before receiving their First Communion. Who is responsible for the preparation?Preparation is a shared responsibility between parents and parish. The child will attend about 12 sessions led by the Parish Catechists after the family Mass on Sunday mornings. This is not just about learning, but about inserting the child more deeply into the community of the parish centred on the Eucharist. Parents have the responsibility of preparing the ground for each session at home and to do some follow-up work after the session. It is our experience that when parents enter into this process in faith, they discover that their own faith and knowledge is renewed. Parents are also expected to attend three sessions intended to explore an adult attitude to the sacraments. Enrolment
EnrolmentParents are invited to enrol their children some time before the course actually begins.The time for enrolment is normally announced at Sunday Mass several months prior to the beginning of the course. Once the candidates are known, a meeting will be organised for the parents in which they will be given a timetable for the course, the date of the First Communion Mass and other essential information.