Thank you for taking time to find out about the sacraments for your child(ren).
Children from School Year 3 and 4, who have been baptised*, are invited to join the Parish First Holy Communion programme. Their parents have the responsibility of bring their children to Sunday Mass and accompany them in the process of preparation, for in fact, the parents are the primary catechists. With the support of the Parish Catechists, parents deliver the formation necessary to help their child(ren) to make their First Reconciliation (Confession) and Receive Our Lord, body, blood, soul and divinity for the first time in Holy Communion. For this reason, at least one parent should accompany their child(ren) to the preparation session. We always begin and end the session with a time of prayer.
*Reception into full communion with the Catholic Church. If your child(ren) have been baptised into the Church of England or another Christian Denomination (for any reason), we need to know at the time of application, and we need to see a copy of their baptismal certificate. Before you can be accepted onto the course you will need to make an appointment to see the Parish Priest so that we can discuss with you whether or not it is now appropriate to receive your child(ren) into full communion of the Catholic Church by a formal act of Reception.
Aged 9+ in September? Many children make and receive their First Holy Communion around the age of 8 in School Year 3, but this is not always the case. Children who are a bit older (aged 9+ at the start of the programme) may now find the content of the First Holy Communion course insufficient for their needs. Therefore, the “We Journey Together Course” might be more appropriate as the catechists on this course are well used to tailoring the content to children of various ages.
Aged 13+ in September? It may be more appropriate that you wait until School Year 10 and join the Confirmation Programme and make and receive your First Holy Communion at the same time. For a good reason, and you can demonstrate your readiness, you might, with the permission of the bishop, be allowed to join the Confirmation course in School Year 9.
NB: For the conferral of these sacraments, at least one parent should be a practicing Catholic, as parental support is vital if the faith is to be nurtured and parents remain the first teacher of their children in the way of faith. If neither parent is Catholic, it would be appropriate for at least one parent to consider their own baptism or reception into the Catholic Faith via the RCIA programme