A. Catechesis for the sacrament of Penance is to precede and be kept distinct and separate from the catechesis for the celebration of First Holy Communion.
B. Catechesis is to be based on the Rite of First Eucharist, be attentive to the experiences of the child, be sensitive to language and family considerations, and foster active involvement in the liturgical celebrations.
C. Catechesis for the child must be taken from text that have been found to be in doctrinal compliance with the Catechism of the Catholic Church by the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on the Catechism and should:
- Familiarize the child with the major events in Christ’s life as proclaimed in the Gospels. Special attention should be given to the Last Supper, the Jewish roots of this covenant meal, and the Paschal Mystery.
- Familiarize the child with the Mass and encourage their full, active and conscious participation. The bread and wine are changed, a change traditionally and appropriately expressed by the word transubstantiation, so that while the appearance of bread and wine remain, the reality is the Body and Blood of Christ.
- Help the child understand that under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and divinity..
- Present the Eucharist as a sign of communion with God and the Catholic community as the “sacrament of sacraments.”
- Help the child understand the celebration of Eucharist: as a living sacrifice and a sacred meal, as thanksgiving, as nourishment for the Christian life, as the source and summit of the Christian life, and as a call to works of charity, service, missionary activity and witness to the faith.
- Instruct the child on: the reception of Christ’s Body and Blood in an informed and reverent manner, the reception of the Body of Christ either in the hand or on the tongue, the reception of the Blood of Christ from the chalice, the Eucharistic fast, the obligation to be free from serious sin before sharing in Holy Communion and the obligation to share in Holy Communion at least during the Easter Season.
- Help the child learn the prayers and responses used during the Eucharistic celebration.
- Encourage the child and their families to celebrate the sacrament of Eucharist regularly and often after their First Communion.