Eucharist – The Holy Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is the sacrament of Christ’s true Body and Blood. Following the command of the Lord to ‘let the little children come to me’ (Mt 19:14), the Church administers the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation and Eucharist to infants on the same day, so that they become full members of the Body of Christ, fully integrated into the Church, and full participants in the gift of New Life in Christ.
Infant Communion refers to the practice of giving the Eucharist, often in the form of consecrated wine, to infants and children. This practice is standard in the Eastern Catholic Churches; here, communion is given at the Divine Liturgy to all baptized and chrismated church members regardless of age. Infant communion is less common in most other Christian denominations, including the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church.
At about age 6-7, children are enrolled into First Confession and Communion class (2 year program) where they learn about the Church, Mysteries (Sacraments) and prayers. Our parish offers this class every year. Please contact the pastor or our director of Religious Education program for more information and enrollment.
May I receive Communion?
If you are a practicing and communing Catholic in good standing with the church (confessed recently and as needed, kept the appropriate Communion fast, married in the church if applicable, all the usual stuff) then you are welcome and encouraged to receive the Eucharist. Those who belong to the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Assyrian Church of the East are urged to follow their own church’s guidelines; our church does not object to them receiving if they present themselves.
If you are not Catholic or you are Catholic but are not properly prepared to receive, please remain in the pew during communion, stepping into the aisle if necessary to let others by. We encourage you to join us in prayer at that time for Christian unity. If you would like to learn more about Catholicism and how you can join us, please speak with Father after church or at your convenience.
I heard you have different practices for fasting and about communing children. How does that affect me as a Roman Catholic visitor?
You continue to be under the jurisdiction of the Roman canons and the Roman bishop wherever you go, so the same rules apply to you whether you’re in a Roman Catholic parish or an Eastern Catholic one. If you or your children may commune in your home parish, you may commune at our church, too. You don’t need a reason or special permission to attend our church and doing so fulfills your Sunday/feast day obligation. The church doesn’t make things hard on you!