First Holy Communion

In the Eucharist we receive Christ Himself. It is important that we are properly prepared and approach the sacrament with the correct disposition. The day of our First Holy Communion should be one of the most memorable and joyful days of our life.

At what point do we receive our First Holy Communion?

Children must be baptised and understand that they are receiving, not ordinary food, but the Body and Blood of Christ, and can receive the sacrament with reverence. Normally, this occurs when the children are in Year 3 at school. Attending Mass each Sunday should already be part of regular life for the child and their family. (If an older person has not made their First Holy Communion, it might, depending upon their age, be appropriate for them to join those preparing for Confirmation or reception into the Catholic Church [RCIA].)

First Confessions

None of us are worthy of so great a gift, yet we must be prepared to receive Christ in the Eucharist. This includes receiving forgiveness in the sacrament of Confession for our sins, for anything that separates us from Christ and His Church. By the age the children make their First Holy Communion, they know the difference between right and wrong, they are capable of taking responsibility for their actions. Therefore, they make their First Confession before receiving Holy Communion and they are prepared for this as part of the programme.

The Programme

The children are prepared by a team of catechists, parishioners who have a great love for the Eucharist and wish to pass on their love and understanding to the next generation of Catholics. The family, the school and the priest also have an important role to play in preparing the children.

The children make their First Holy Communion at Holy Ghost & St. Stephen on a Saturday, normally in May. Starting in the preceding autumn, there are a series of preparatory classes on Sunday mornings with children attending the 11 am Mass afterwards. The programme is advertised in the parish newsletter several months in advance.

‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh,’

(John 6:51)


44 Ashchurch Grove
W12 9BU

020 8743 5196