WHAT IS THE EUCHARIST?
First Holy Communion
First Holy Communion is usually received in 3rd grade. As with other sacraments, the diocese requires that students attend religious education classes for two years in preparation for receiving the sacrament. Students must have attended religious education classes through all of 2nd grade and 3rd grade in order to be eligible to receive First Holy Communion in 3rd grade. In 3rd grade parents are also expected to attend sacrament classes with their child.
Reception of Communion
All Catholics who are regularly attending Mass, have fasted for an hour, and are in a state of grace (not aware of any mortal sin) are encouraged to approach the altar during the distribution of Holy Communion. Reception of the Eucharist is the most intimate expression of our faith and is both the visible sign and means of communion not only with Jesus Christ, but also communion with the whole Catholic Church. Therefore, our brothers and sisters of other faiths or Catholics not yet fully prepared to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament are invited to come forward to receive a blessing at this time if they so choose. The desire to do so may be indicated by crossing the arms over the chest.