World Faiths & Religions

Frequently Asked Questions

First Communion

First Communion (Eucharist) is one of the three Catholic sacraments of initiation, which along with baptism and Confirmation, make someone a Catholic. Catholic children typically receive their First Communion in second grade, after having been baptized as infants. They are then confirmed some time during their high school years. In the Eucharist, Catholics believe that we receive the Real Presence of the Risen Christ in the consecrated bread and wine.

When children are baptized, they wear a white christening or baptismal robe, so when they receive the Eucharist for the first time, they often wear white dresses or suits to make the connection between the white robe of baptism and the white garments of First Communion. There are no official requirements about what a child should wear to receive her/his First Communion, and one of the guiding principles should be not only to make the connection with baptism, but to ensure that if children are making their First Communion together in a group, that there is not an appearance of "haves" and have nots" based on how elaborately some of the children are dressed.

I often wonder at First Communions if we spent more time concerned about a child's second and third and fiftieth and one thousandth communion rather than what dress and flowers the child was going to wear on their First and sometimes last communion, if as a Church we wouldn't be infinitely better off....