Church of St. Uriel the Archangel Sea Girt, New Jersey
First Holy Communion
Communion of the Apostles (11th Century)
Mosaic (Detail), St. Sophia Cathedral, Kiev, Ukraine
In the Episcopal Church, Baptism is the the only canonical pre-requisite for admission to Holy Communion.
Until the 1970s, however, only those who had been Confirmed were eligible to receive Communion. The current canons state that children may be admitted to Holy Communion once they express the desire to do so and their parents agree that they are ready, in consultation with the parish clergy.
Contemporary practices vary from parish to parish, and from Church to Church. The Eastern Orthodox Churches, for example, administer Holy Communion to newly baptized infants using a tiny spoon.
In recent years at St. Uriel's, the minimum age for First Holy Communion has been seven, and the curriculum We Celebrate the Eucharist has been used in classes in preparation for this significant milestone, usually scheduled on a Sunday during Eastertide.
It will be up to the next Rector of St. Uriel's to determine future parish policies and procedures regarding the admission of children to Holy Communion.
In the meantime, parents of children who desire to make their First Holy Communion are encouraged to speak with the Interim Priest, who will arrange for appropriate instruction and preparation.
Visitors from other Churches
Members of other Communions and denominations attending Mass at St. Uriel's are welcome to receive Holy Communion, conscience permitting, if they have been baptized with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is normally expected that such visitors will have been admitted to Communion and be in good standing in their home Church.
Visitors not receiving Communion for whatever reason are welcome and invited to come forward at the time of Communion to receive a blessing from the priest. To let the priest know you are not receiving, please fold your arms across your chest and bow your head.