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St John's P.S Gilford

Guidance for First Holy Communion

9th May 2024

The Sacrament of First Holy Communion is a special event in the lives of the children.

For the school and the parish, it is also an occasion to celebrate.

In order to make this a memorable experience for everyone involved we would ask you to please note the following points:

  • First Holy Communion will take place on Saturday 11th May 2024 in St. John the Evangelist Church, Gilford at 11 am.
  • We would appreciate if all First Holy Communicants, as well as Choir members, could be seated by 10.45 am.
  • A seat will be reserved for each child and their family (maximum 8 people per seat including the First Communicant).
  • We would respectfully ask that noise is kept to a minimum, especially when families are seated prior to the beginning of Mass. The children have been taught about the need to show reverence in the church and we would appreciate the co-operation of families.
  • All mobile telephones need to be switched off.
  • With regards photography, we would ask that parents/family members kindly refrain from taking photographs during the First Communion Mass. There will be ample opportunities to take photographs of the children after Mass and the whole class will also be assembled at this time for a group photograph.
  • Children for First Holy Communion will be invited by Father Loughran to receive the Eucharist first.
  • Some parents have been asking about fasting before receiving Communion. The guidance on this is as follows: Whoever is to receive the blessed Eucharist is to abstain for at least one hour before Holy Communion from all food and drink with the sole exception of water and medicine. Pregnant women and the elderly are exempt from this.
  • We should never come to Holy Communion with gum or sweets in our mouth. In fact, we should refrain from chewing gum or eating sweets whenever we are in church, not just before Communion. We fast to help us prepare for and appreciate the sacredness of such a great gift.
  • All First Communicants and their families are invited back to school following the service, where refreshments will be served. It is our tradition for the children to get their photo taken with the Communion cake before cutting it.

Your co-operation is most appreciated!