Holy Communion

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops gives the following  guidelines for receiving Holy Communion. Please scroll further down the page for information on how to prepare for First Holy Communion at Epiphany of the Lord.

(source: https://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/liturgy-of-the-eucharist/guidelines-for-the-reception-of-communion)

For Catholics

As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.

For our fellow Christians

We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21).

Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 §4). Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of Communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 §3).

For those not receiving Holy Communion

All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.

For non-Christians

We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit them to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family.

Preparation for First Holy Communion at Epiphany of the Lord

First Holy Communion typically takes place in 2nd grade (provided a child has been baptized in the Catholic faith and has had at least one school year of religious instruction). Religious instruction (General Catechesis Program) may consist of Catholic schooling, Family of Faith at our parish, or a homeschool equivalent that has been approved by the pastor and/or Director of Faith Formation. 

Per the Diocese of Toledo, “Before receiving Holy Communion for the first time, parents must enroll their child in a Sacramental Preparation Program for First Communion in their parish. Candidates must also be concurrently enrolled in a General Catechesis Program.”

All those enrolled in Catholic school or participating in other religious instruction will be invited to enroll in First Reconciliation and First Communion preparation in their 2nd grade year. If a youth who has been baptized Catholic but did not begin religious instruction in first grade (or earlier) wishes to prepare, he/she will be invited to prepare for First Reconciliation and  First Communion during his/her second year of religious instruction. These formation sessions are designed in accordance with Diocesan guidelines. Ideally, both parents will participate alongside the child. It is necessary that at least one parent/grandparent/guardian attend each session alongside the child. Grandparents, godparents, and siblings are welcome to also participate in these sessions. See Family of Faith link.

Preparation for First Holy Communion if you are in junior high or older:

Any baptized Catholic may prepare for First Holy Communion (typically done consecutively with First Reconciliation formation). Those in 7th grade through adulthood will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to see what their formation needs are. The most important aspect of formation is regular Mass attendance on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. Additional, age-appropriate steps will be taken based on the person’s age and amount of previous instruction in the faith (if any). Please contact the Director of Faith Formation, Kathy Fech at kfech@epiphanyofthelord.org to begin this process for your child(ren)/grandchild(ren) and/or yourself. 

Preparation for First Holy Communion if you are unbaptized or baptized in another Christian faith:

Please visit  Order of Christian Initiation for Adults

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