how soon?

is too soon.

to receive Jesus?

the issue came up during mass regarding First Holy Communion in may. the red tape involved with receiving This special Sacrament is not as thick and contsrictive in a small traditional chapel as it is in the bigger parishes. especially to Catholic homeschooling families where faith. and catechism is something we are blessed to “do” every day.

but the question i am pining over. with regards to the baby. is this: is 6 too young?

father said kindly: he must understand what is happening on the altar. he does. he must understand what sin is. he does. he must know what Holy Communion is. or rather WHO Holy Communion is. he does.

so he will have an “interview” next week.

yesterday was Good Shepherd sunday for us.

the message: the Shepherd knows His sheep. and His sheep know Him.

His message to Simon Peter: feed the sheep.

what about the lambs?

what do you think?  i am curious as to your opinions on this delicate matter.

ultimately, i suppose if the priest decides he is ready, then i will respect his decision.

personally, i think that faith has its peaks and valleys. the young. innocent. heart. is at one of its highest peaks of belief. it isn’t until doubt and sin cloud one’s judgement and discernment regarding spiritual matters.

part of me wants to run with this. another part of me says wait.

thank goodness for the truly good shepherds who have been entrusted to lead us.

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9 thoughts on “how soon?

  1. “When” is truly a personal thing, decided upon on a child-by-child basis. Una was 6. Sebastian 7. Gabe will be almost 8, but Gabriel is in many ways much less mature than Una was at that age, and I want him to really appreciate the sacrament. I want to take more time to prepare him than I did with Sebastian, so that he really understands what a big deal this is! And I want him to really desire it. His attitude right now is still, “Yah, okay…do I get to have a party?”

  2. I think the little ones get it often earlier then we expect because faith comes easily to them. Does he truly get Confession and preparation for the Sacrament? Faith is making her First Confession this week and I think it was harder preparing her for it than for the Eucharist.

  3. I struggled with this too. My husband and I knew the our youngest son knew what was happening and what things meant….and we wanted him to have Christ within him as soon as he could but another part of us wondered too. Maturity-wise, was he getting all of it….and showing the reverence ? Sometimes he was young enough to want to lie on our laps during Mass. When we told him that those who received the Eucharist sat in their pews differently…and then he did too…we felt the maturity was there.

    Now, my 5 year old daughter knows who the Eucharist is and what sin means and pretends to go to confession longing for her time. When they grow up hearing the older siblings discussing religion work, they do learn things younger but again…what she “knows” and what she is capable of at Mass haven’t caught up yet…

    But I do wonder if I am holding her to a measurement that Christ wouldn’t? Indeed, and thank God for a faithful Priest! You have me thinking….

  4. oh honey I am right in this same struggle with my boo-bear!
    Praying for you and your baby and Father, wisdom for all.

  5. Do what the Priest says and leave the rest to prayer.

    there…how is that for an eezy-peezy answer 😉

  6. In our diocese, children recieve the sacrament of penance in 2nd grade & then confirmation and 1st Eucharist in 3rd grade. Many parents were, and still are, concerned about this ‘change’ in order of sacraments. However, the bishop’s explanation and reasoning for the change really resonated with me. I cannot do justice to his words in this short comment, but he basically said kids need the sacrament of confirmation earlier in this ‘day and age’ also, that this was the order of sacraments for the first Christians.

    My husband and I haven’t chosen to ask the priests to give our children the sacraments earlier, but not because we haven’t thought about it! Part of our decision to wait and go with the bishop’s lead is out of respect for him … he is a very faithful and holy man. But, we also have friend’s whose children have recieved the sacraments early. Regardless, I support the parents’ decision because they best know their child. And, if the priest is interviewing the child, he also will know if the child is ready … imho.

    Prayers to you in this time…

  7. I agree with Barbara. My daughter made her first Confession in December and seriously we could go every day. (we go monthly) I do keep reminding her though, that she will soon be receiving Jesus and she needs to really work on these sins. (we are so blessed to have Confession!)

    Those sweet innocent children get it that It is Jesus. Automatically.

  8. I think this is different for each child but we do have a general guideline in our house: When the child is ready for sacramental Confession, the child should have access to our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. As a parent, there is that moment when you know. You just know that the child needs those graces of mercy, forgiveness and healing. And if the reason is there for Confession, then there is no good reason to withhold the life-giving Presence of Christ. Three of mine have reached the age. One was 8, one 7 and one had just reached his 6th birthday. Each age was perfect for the individual although different from siblings.
    I think it’s important for the priest to remember that a child does not need to be fully catechized for the first sacraments but only be able to have reached the age of reason, behave reasonably well (not necessarily perfectly) during Mass, and understand (as well as a child can) the basics of the sacrament. You, as parent, know these things about your child better than anyone on earth:)

  9. Sarah on said:

    All good answers/suggestions here.
    The only Sacrament we ever asked for early was for Connor’s Confirmation. The priest just trusted our word but more importantly Connor’s word/interest/desire than anything we said. I do think that Melody succinctly sums up what I think about it.
    Let us know! In the mean time, I will pray!

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