First Communion

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The Sacrament of the Eucharist

Jesus says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:51). “The Eucharist is the “source and summit of the Christians life.” (CC #1324)

Preparing to receive the Eucharist for the first time requires special sessions dedicated to understanding the Sacrament of the Eucharist as the true presence of Jesus.

During the preparation sessions some of the topics that are taught to the children are:

  • The importance of worshiping together as a family and a faith community.
  • The different parts of the Mass and ways to actively participate.
  • The meaning of signs and symbols used in the Sacrament.
  • The proper way to receive the Eucharist and Cup.
  • About the gospel passage of Last Supper of Jesus.
  • How to live faithfully as disciples in their journey of faith that began with Baptism.

The Catholic Church refers to families as the “Domestic Church” and, as such, families have the responsibility to set the foundation of faith formation. To reinforce the concepts taught during the preparation sessions, family participation in weekend liturgy is very strongly encouraged.

St. James Church begins preparing children to receive the Sacrament of First Eucharist in their second year of religious education classes. Following Diocesan guidelines, children preparing for this sacrament must be baptized, have completed one year of Religious Education, and be currently enrolled in weekly religious education.

The children (usually in 2nd grade) will begin First Eucharist (Communion) preparation classes for the Sacrament in March. First Eucharist preparation classes are on Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45AM.

Each of the four sessions begins with a Prayer Service to set the theme for the session. Parents are required to be present during the Prayer Service with their child and to stay for a presentation afterwards.

The children and their parents also attend a 3-hour workshop. The workshop consists of:

  • A review of the Mass and how to fully participate.
  • Bread making by the children while the parents attend a special presentation.
  • A family clay project.
  • Time to create their own banners that are placed in the church on the day they receive First Communion.

The Sacrament of First Holy Communion is celebrated on the first weekend in May at the 9:00AM Mass on Sunday. The complete schedule for the First Eucharist preparation program can be found on the Events page.

For more information or to register for the First Eucharist preparation program, contact:

Sandra Addante
First Eucharist Coordinator
Email: earlysacraments@stjamescaz.com

Phone: 315-655-9309

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