Admission of Children to Holy Communion
5 Basic Questions
1) Does my child need to be baptised before they can be admitted to Holy Communion?
Yes. The Vicar will ask to see your child’s baptism certificate before he can admit them to Holy Communion. This is because Baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the Christian faith and Body of Christ. “In the one Spirit we were all baptised into one body” (Common Worship). Membership of that body is then affirmed in the reception of Holy Communion: “we are one body, because we all share in one bread” (Common Worship). If you’re child is not yet baptised, Baptism can form part of the preparation programme.
2) Is there a minimum age for admission to Holy Communion?
No. However, the common practice of the Church highlights the age of 7, the age of reason, as a guideline. Children younger than 7 years old may be admitted at the discretion of the Vicar in consultation with parents.
3) Will there be some form of preparation?
Yes. A preparation programme will involve both the child and parents. If you would like your child to participate in the next programme please email the Parish Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4) Will children understand what they are doing when they take Communion?
Children are certainly able to understand the origin and specialness of sharing the bread and wine. A deeper understanding of the mystery of the sacrament is a lifetime’s work for all of us, and one that will never be complete however old we are.
5) What about Confirmation and ongoing nurture in the Faith?
Confirmation is the sacrament in which a baptised person makes an act of adult commitment to the faith. Through the gift of grace, the work of the Holy Spirit is confirmed.
Sadly, for many confirmed at a young age the full meaning of Confirmation can be lost, especially if it is seen as simply a gateway to Holy Communion. The Church, together with parents (or guardians), has the responsibility to provide a grounding in the faith that will equip our children for a lifetime. The sequence of Baptism, admission to Communion and Confirmation, is not only biblically and theologically sound, it also makes it possible for each rite of passage to deepen and enrich the spirituality of a young Christian during appropriate life stages.