Normally, children in Year 3, around the age of 7 or 8 years are prepared by the Parish to receive Jesus our Lord at their First Holy Communion. As Bishop John Sherrington said recently to the priests of the Diocese about Sacramental preparation:
I wish to emphasise that during the pandemic it will be unlikely or very difficult to organise sacramental preparation in the ‘normal’ or ‘usual’ way. Flexibility, sustainability and the role of families in their children’s preparation will be more important.
In our baptism, we are re-created as the children of God and brought into the Life of God through Jesus Christ. In baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit who makes a dwelling within us, bearing the gifts of Faith, Hope, and Love. Later, in confirmation, these gifts with the fire or intensity of the Spirit, will be made firm, bringing these gifts of Faith, Hope, and Love, to maturation as they begin to manifest themselves in wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, Piety (Reverence), and Fear of the Lord (Wonder and Awe).
Like baptism and confirmation, the reception of Eucharist initiates or brings us into yet a closer relationship with God. Yet, unlike both baptism and confirmation which are received once, the Eucharist is the on-going nourishment that takes us into the Life of God and binds us together with our brothers and sisters in Love. Our nourishment in the Sacred Meal of the Eucharist is a Living Person–the Person of Jesus Christ. When we receive this Living Person in the Eucharist and we participate in Faith with the God we receive, we become continually formed to the likeness of Christ. Nourished with Christ, we become Christ for others. Our hearts burning with Love must express itself in action, in works of service, kindness, and justice for others. We become a Eucharistic people, whose lives are centred on and flow from Christ.