Holy Communion augments our union with Christ. The principal fruit of receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is an intimate union with Christ Jesus. Indeed, the Lord said: He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. Life in Christ has its foundation in the Eucharistic banquet. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.
What material food produces in our bodily life, Holy Communion wonderfully achieves in our spiritual life...The growth in Christian life needs the nourishment of Eucharistic Communion, the bread for our pilgrimage until the moment of death, when it will be given to us as viaticum. (CCC, 1391-1392)
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our Catholic life. It brings us together, unites us, gives us strength to live as the People of God. It is a sacrament of loving, caring, and sharing.
We at St. Martin's are here to assist you in preparing your child for 1st Eucharist. But, your child's appreciation of this sacrament is mainly in your hands. Weekly attendance at Mass is required so that the child can better appreciate and be aware of the full meaning of the Eucharist in family life. You as parents are the ones from whom the child learns most of their religious attitudes. At St. Martin's, the preparatory studies for the reception of First Eucharist is a two year program.
The Sacramental Norms and Policies established by the Archdiocese of Washington states: Readiness for First Eucharist is obvious when the child is attending Sunday Eucharist regularly, expresses a desire for the Eucharist and, when asked what the bread and wine becomes during Mass, can respond Jesus. Such readiness, not a specific age, appears to be the critical factor. It is presumed by age seven.
The universal law of the Church clearly states that children who have reached the age of reason receive the Sacrament of Penance (Reconciliation) before admission to First Eucharist.
The Precepts of the Church
Take part in the Eucharist every Sunday and Holy Day. Do no unnecessary work on Sunday; keep holy the day of the Lord's resurrection (Sun.); worship God by participating in Mass; avoid tasks that would hinder worship, joy and relaxation.
This is a requirement for your children's reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.
Celebrate the Sacraments often. Lead a sacramental life: receive Communion often and the Sacrament of Reconciliation regularly.
Study the Good News of Jesus Christ. Study Catholic teachings in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation, be confirmed and then continue to study and advance the cause of Christ.
Follow marriage laws of the Church. Observe the marriage laws of the Catholic Church; give religious training by word and example to children; attend parish schools and catechetical programs.
Support the People of God. Strengthen and uphold the Church: one's own parish community and priests, the universal church and the Holy Father
Do Penance. Reconcile with God and the Church; abstain from meat and fast on the appointed days.
Support the missionary efforts of the Church. Join in the missionary spirit and apostolate of the Church.