Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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First Communion Season

April 29th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

Ah, the month of May! Over the next few weeks, most of the area’s young Catholics will be receiving their First Holy Communion. I would like to take a moment to remind our readers who have young children that all are required [note the bold] to make the Sacrament of Confession/reconciliation/penance/sharing corner prior to our first reception of the Blessed Sacrament. This is mandatory for all Latin rite Catholics. I realize there are a lot of parishes out there, predominantly on the east side of Monroe County, who have been blessed by the “Spirit of Vatican II” that have decided that children should make their first Confession in fourth grade. This is clearly wrong, and violates both Canon Law, and what is contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church on this topic. Clearly if a child can understand that Jesus is present after consecration, they can understand sin.

Here is the documentation:

From the Code of Canon Law (CIC 914):
“It is primarily the duty of parents and those who take the place of parents, as well as the duty of pastors, to take care that children who have reached the use of reason are prepared properly and, after they have made sacramental confession, are refreshed with this divine food as soon as possible. It is for the pastor to exercise vigilance so that children who have not attained the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed do not approach holy communion.”

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1457):
“According to the Church’s command, “after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year.” Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession. Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time

So, if your pastor does not require your child to make their First Confession before receiving First Communion, it will be up to you parents to see that your child does so. God bless all those who are about to partake of these sacraments!

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5 Responses to “First Communion Season”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    Christ the King parish (Fr. Tanck) has always had their children receive First Holy Communion before First Penance. When St. Thomas the Apostle parish was clustered with CTK a few years ago, this was the type of concern STA had with clustering with CTK and their faith formation program. STA was able to maintain the correct progression of the sacraments by being "rigid", however this year Fr. Tanck closed the STA faith formation program and merged it with CTKs. This abuse of our children is one of the concerns STA parishioners have with one new mega parish in Irondequoit. Once they lose their parish's canonical rights, the fear is that they will be subjected to all kinds of abuse of this kind.

  2. avatar RochChaCha says:

    Dr. K,,My precious little one will be taking her's at OLV on May 8 & 9. I have nothing to worry about as she has been well catechized. What a treasure within the diocese OLV and what a specatular priest we have in Father A.

  3. avatar Anonymous says:

    We skipped the classes at our church, because they are all Arts & Crafts and "Jesus Loves Us" cheerleading.
    The actual workbook is not bad, so we did it at home. It's amazing, our 8 year old wasn't the least bit frightened by the story of Christ's sacrifice for us.
    The only question of his that I could not answer was why the glitter and stars/flowers banner he had to make was necessary.

  4. avatar Matt says:

    Anon–I am reminded of a comment some months ago on one of the blogs in which someone discussed the fact that they made the kids create felt banners and such…so that person's kid made a sunburst monstrance! I say, making lemonade out of lemons at its finest!!

  5. avatar Nerina says:

    We had to really fight to get our children into First Reconciliation before First Communion. But we did it. And the following year they offered First Reconciliation to all children prior to receiving First Communion. Our church still doesn't mandate that order, though and insists that some children are ready for Communion, but not Confession.


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