Catholic children all around the world are preparing for their First Holy Communion, which traditionally takes place in the month of May.
In Land O’ Lakes, Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church has been working diligently with its Communicants to make sure they are equipped with the knowledge and desire to take this important next step in their Catholic faith.
First Holy Communion is offered to Catholic children at the time when the church deems them of the "Age of Reason," which is about 7. Most of Our Lady of the Rosary's Communicants are in second grade, and all have been preparing for this Sacrament for at least two years.
Our Lady of the Rosary offers a Catechism class called “Young Disciples,” which begins the steps leading to Sacraments such as First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. In the year the child plans to receive a Sacrament, parents and children attend various training classes led by Catechists as well as an interview with a priest or deacon.
Such a large number of children prepare for this Sacrament each year that there are up to five separate First Holy Communion Masses at Our Lady of the Rosary each season, each hosting between 35 and 50 Communicants and their families.
Our Lady’s first set of Communicants received their First Holy Communion on Saturday, May 7.
All of the young ladies came dressed in their traditional white gowns, some wore veils and gloves and others opted for a more modern style. The young men looked dashing in their suits and ties.
Father Ron Aubin’s traditional homily consists of explaining the importance of the Sacrament the children are about to receive. He praises the parents and Catechists for their hard work. Aubin explains the Passover and how Jesus and His disciples were celebrating Passover on the Last Supper, and how that is tied to the Holy Communion Catholics receive today. He explains that Catholics believe in transubstantiation, which means that the bread and wine actually turn into the substance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. He ends with a story of a little girl in China, who after her family and friends where arrested for practicing Catholicism, returned daily to consume the consecrated hosts, one at a time, that had been spilled during her church’s raid.
Before the Mass ends, Aubin blesses the many rosaries, Bibles and other artifacts that the children have brought with them. This Sacramental celebration is an important event for young Catholics and their families alike.