Ora et Schola

Sharing is caring!

First Holy Communion Preparation: Easy Lessons to Teach the Faith

First Holy Communion Preparation is one of the most important journeys for a Catholic. Preparation should be efficient and effective.

It is the parents’ responsibility (and privilege!) to raise their children in the faith.

As a parent and religious education catechist, I believe that the New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism provides every child with the most solid foundation of the faith. The catechism is enjoyable for parents and students to read and easy for children to understand.

Today, I will let you in on all of my tips and resources for First Holy Communion Preparation. I have also developed easy lesson plans for teaching the faith with the New St. Joseph First Communion Catechism.

Follow the link below to purchase my First Holy Communion Preparation Lessons as a pdf.

First Holy Communion Preparation Lessons pdf

What is Holy Communion?

The Holy Eucharist was instituted by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper. The Last Supper occurred on Holy (Maundy) Thursday – the night before he was crucified and died on the cross.

From Mark 14:22-24: 

“While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many.'”

Holy Communion (or Holy Eucharist) is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Every Mass is a continuation of the sacrifice that Jesus made when He gave His body for us on the cross on Good Friday.

Jesus Christ comes to us in the form of bread and wine every time we receive Holy Communion.

Priest holding the Precious Body and Blood of Jesus

What do you have to do before First Communion?

The two sacraments that must be received before receiving First Holy Communion are Baptism and Reconciliation.

Baptism cleanses us of original sin. We only receive the sacrament of Baptism once.

The sacrament of reconciliation can (and must!) be received throughout our lives. This ensures that our soul is as pure as possible when we receive Jesus in Holy Communion.

How do I prepare my child for First Holy Communion?

First Holy Communion Preparation at Home

First Holy Communion preparation begins in the home. A family should:

  1. Pray together daily
  2. Attend Mass together on Sundays
  3. Live the faith daily

Model Reverence for the Eucharist

The best thing that parents can do to prepare their children to receive First Holy Communion is to model reverence for Our Lord Jesus Christ – especially when we are in His presence in Mass or Adoration!

Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, and we should remind our children of this often.

As parents, we must model reverence when in the presence of the tabernacle or Sacren Host by genuflecting and/or veiling. Genuflecting and veiling shows humility and respect towards Jesus.

You must also always model reverence in how you receive Holy Communion. To do this, be sure to be fully present when assisting at the Mass.

Pray during the Consecration with utmost love and devotion. When the priest elevated the Host, be sure to pray the words of St. Thomas: “My Lord, and my God!”

During the elevation of the Precious Blood, be sure to pray: “Dear Jesus, have mercy on me, a sinner!”

Teach your children to also pray these prayers.

Receive Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling, if possible.

After receiving Holy Communion, pray with sincere thanksgiving to God for sending us His Son to us in Holy Communion.

Make sure to always fast for at least one hour before receiving Holy Communion.

Always receive Communion in a state of grace. This is possible by frequently receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation. 

In addition, help the child practice how to receive Communion reverently at home before they receive their First Holy Communion.

praying with a veil

First Communion Catechism Lessons

As a homeschooling parent and religious educator, The New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism is an easy, traditional, and enjoyable primary resource to use for First Communion catechism lessons and preparation.

I will walk you through exactly how to use it.

St. Joseph First Communion Catechism for First Holy Communion Preparation

When do you start catechism class?

Children can (and should!) begin preparing to receive their First Holy Communion from birth in the home. The parents are the primary educators of their children’s faith.

Traditionally, formal instruction or lessons begin in first grade. The instruction continues into second grade. Most children receive First Holy Communion in 2nd grade around the age of 7 or 8.

How many years of catechism for First Communion?

As stated above, 2 years of instruction is expected for receiving Holy Communion.

However, you truly can start instruction at younger ages.

Remember that learning the faith should happen over a child’s lifetime! You are laying a strong foundation to get your child started. Take your time and focus on quality over quantity.


Teach your little ones about the Mass

Download and print these FREE Toddler Mass cards, print, and bring them to Mass for your toddler to enjoy!

Get the FREE Toddler Mass Cards as well as lots of tips for teaching the Catholic faith to children by subscribing below.

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

    First Holy Communion Lesson Plans for the New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism

    The New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism is simple enough for preschoolers to understand. It also includes engaging pictures for little Catholics to enjoy. You can use the following plans from starting at ages 3 or 4.

    At these ages, you can read the catechism to your child. You can also start quizzing them on the end of lesson questions. Also, children at this age are like sponges and have fantastic memories. You can absolutely start teaching them to memorize the catechism questions!

    The beauty of this lesson plan is that you can choose your pace. You can also use the plan year after year until your child receives First Holy Communion. 

    As the child learns to read and becomes more independent, they can read the lessons on their own and at their own pace. 

    They can also write down the answers to the questions when they are comfortable writing. Then, you can go over the answers together.

    If you would like more formal and detailed instructions on implementing and using the New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism, then read on! I have created a simple lesson plan for you to use with your child.

    First Holy Communion Preparation Lessons PDF

    The First Holy Communion Preparation Lessons PDF will walk you through exactly how to use the New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism to prepare your child to receive the sacrament of First Holy Communion.

    The lesson plans will allow you to:

    1. Teach your child the faith with a simple method and structure.
    2. Choose the prayers that you wish for your child to learn. A checklist of suggested prayers is included.
    3. Go through the entire St. Joseph’s Catechism at your own pace.
    4. Go over the end of lesson questions with your child. An answer key is included.
    5. Help you lay a solid foundation for your child by helping him or her memorize and learn all of the catechism questions included in the New Saint Joseph First Communion Catechism.


    Follow the link below to purchase the lesson plans from my shop!


    Other Useful Resources for First Holy Communion Preparation

    The Baltimore Catechism No. 1

    There is another option for First Holy Communion preparation using the Baltimore Catechism No. 1.

    Be sure to check out my friend Jen’s post over at www.evatoave.com for how she uses this text and other ideas to craft lessons for First Holy Communion preparation.

    She also has these lovely flashcards to help memorize the catechism questions for this text. 

    Catholic Heritage Curricula First Communion Mass Supplement

    The Catholic Heritage religion supplements are absolute gems. 

    The supplement for receiving the sacraments of first reconciliation and  first Holy Communion is a must have!

    This supplement has beautiful, traditional stories to prepare your child for both sacraments.

    The best part is the Mass missal that your child will make while learning about the Mass. They can then take this missal to Mass with them and it helps them assist at the Mass is a deep and meaningful way.

    I have no affiliation with CHC, and I am not being compensated to say this. I truly love this supplement and highly recommend it to all children preparing for these 2 sacraments.

    CHC recommends this supplement for the 2nd grade year (or the year the child will receive these two sacraments). 

    I have had success using this supplement with 1st graders. 

    Race for Heaven Communion with the Saints

    If you really want to take your sacrament preparation to the next level, the Race for Heaven Communion with the Saints Family Preparation program is for you!

    This program has catechesis for the entire family – including the parents! This is a Charlotte Mason style curriculum which relies heavily on different versions of the catechism (based on the children’s’ ages) and different saint memoirs, books and meditations.

    There are also corresponding journals for your first communicants – one for girls and one for boys. 

    This program is intense, but it is a doable and meaningful way for the entire family to race towards heaven together, specifically as one of their members prepares to receive his or her first Holy Communion.


    Do you have to do Reconciliation before First Communion?


    Before children receive First Holy Communion, they must receive the sacrament of First Reconciliation.

    Be sure to check out my post for how to prepare children for this sacrament here.

    How to Teach the Faith at Home

    Teaching the faith at home is  a life long process!

    Be sure to check out my tips and resources for teaching the faith at home here.

    Pin it for later

    First Holy Communion Lesson Plans pin

    Sharing is caring!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *