a CONGREGATION OF FAITH
Regular Mass Attendance
Our weekly celebration of the Eucharist at Mass is at the very heart of our Catholic Faith. As Catholics we believe that when we receive the Eucharist we receive no less than the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Savior, Jesus Christ. As we prepare children for their First Eucharist we share with them the belief that Christ is present in the Eucharist and invites us to receive this precious gift of Himself every week.
Children who never or rarely attend Mass often feel lost when their catechists and peers enthusiastically discuss how much Jesus loves them and shows His love through the Eucharist. If for some reason your family does not already attend Mass weekly we encourage you to do so. Use the beginning of your child’s preparation for these sacraments as your inspiration to begin attending Mass regularly so your child can feel comfortable approaching the Eucharist.
St. Boniface Parish
It is the official policy of our diocese, in keeping with the practice of the universal church, that young people are to be prepared to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a.k.a. Penance or Confession, before receiving the Eucharist for the first time. Some parents wonder if their child is ready to receive Reconciliation at this young age. You know your child best and it is up to you to decide when your child is ready to receive these two sacraments.
Generally children are judged old enough to receive these sacraments any time after their 7th birthday. Children are considered mature enough to receive Reconciliation when they have an understanding of the difference between a mistake and a choice to do something wrong, and know that God loves them no matter what they have done. Children are considered mature enough to receive their First Eucharist when they are able to express a desire to receive the Eucharist , participate regularly at Mass and recognize that there is a difference between the Eucharist and ordinary bread and wine.
Please keep in mind that we prepare children so they may embrace these sacraments to the best of their ability. It is not our expectation that they will or should have a fully mature understanding of them. As Pope St. Pius X so wisely understood, when moving the celebration of first Eucharist to the age of reason, children do not need to fully understand the mystery of these sacraments to receive the fullness of their grace. It is the job of our entire faith community to lead them to a full appreciation of these sacraments as they grow to maturity.
Read more: The Preparation Process