First Holy Communion

The Church is all in a muddle as to when children receive Holy Communion for the first time.  In the old days, the really, really old days, people were baptized, confirmed and communed all on the same day whether infants or adults.  That made some sense since there is only one requirement for receiving the Lord’s Supper, and that is that we are baptized.  Scripture also tells us to examine ourselves prior to taking the Lord’s Supper to make sure we are taking it rightly (1 Corinthians 11:27), but that is something we do on our own or with the Pastor’s help if we think we are not thinking right about our sin or the Supper.  For this reason and others, the Church came to separate Baptism from Confirmation and Communion in time, waiting until an “age of reason” to teach baptized children about the Sacrament.  For some church communions that was sometime in the junior-high or high school years, and for others it was the time at which they began to read reasonably well.
These days, we tend to take the latter course.  At St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church, we wait to instruct children on the Lord’s Supper until such time as they express a longing to receive it and they can read simple texts or understand to some degree what Jesus Christ gives us in this holy meal.  That is usually somewhere between 5 and 7 years of age, after consultation with the parents. 
As a rule, First Holy Communion classes are taught during the Easter season over a five week period.  During these classes, children come to know the Bible stories that are about the Sacrament of the Altar, talk together about loving and following Jesus, learn how to commune, and learn the names of the vessels associated with Communion.  They make the bread for the day they commune for the first time, and taste the wine beforehand, so they get the making faces over the taste part done with before they commune the first time.  The children receive their First Holy Communion on Pentecost Sunday.  However, if a parent believes a child is ready and there is need to bring a child to the Lord’s Supper earlier in the year, that may be done depending upon circumstances.  Again, talk to the Pastor about this.

Loaves and Fishes Lutheran Dishes

A collection of recipes by the St Jacobs Lutheran church congregation.


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