Getting your child ready for their first Holy Communion is an exciting time for both you as a parent and for your child. However, it can also be extremely nerve-wracking for them, with many elements that they need to learn, as well as the big day itself in which your child will have to stand in front of their family and friends and accept the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
This is why it is so important for your child to be adequately prepared for what is arguably the most important religious occasion of their life.
Make sure your child attends Sunday Mass
How can you expect your child to be excited about the prospect of receiving Jesus’s body, blood and soul if you do not show them that this is an essential and ongoing part of their lives as a Catholic?
Yes, daily life can be hectic and busy, but it is vitally important that you consistently attend Sunday Mass if you want your child to truly understand and be prepared for their First Holy Communion.
Explain the importance of the Eucharist
Young children who regularly attend Sunday Mass may become confused about the taking of bread and wine and not truly understand the presence of Jesus in this ritual. Be sure to focus on the fact that they will be receiving the body and blood of Jesus rather than merely bread and wine.
This is also key in ensuring that your child understands the importance of attending Mass every Sunday and continuing to receive the Eucharist.
Let your child be involved in the preparations
Some feel that getting caught up in the celebration of their First Holy Communion will only distract your child from the true meaning of the occasion; however, you must remember that your child is still a child and there is nothing wrong with them being excited about their communion dress or the presents that they will receive from family and friends.
Letting your child pick their communion dress from a specialised retailer like Peridot will only help increase their enthusiasm for this momentous occasion, meaning they are more likely to look forward to the ceremony itself.
Practice receiving Holy Communion with your child
Imagine standing up in front of a large crowd as a 7 or 8-year-old and having to do something for the very first time, knowing that this is one of the most important occasions of your life.
Even the most confident child would falter. That is why it is so vital that you practice with your child at home before their big day.
The below guide should help prepare your child for their First Communion.
- Practice singing the Communion hymn
- Purchase some small crackers and show your child how to bow their head in reverence
- Teach your child to say Amen once the priest says, ‘The body of Christ.’
- Show your child how to fold their hands in prayer
It can also be beneficial to point out good and bad examples of the Holy Communion process at Sunday Mass so that your child can see first-hand how they should be doing it.
Try to remember as a parent that this special day is about your child and their religious journey, so try and support them as much as you possibly can without piling on too much pressure!