Ideally the best preparation for the Eucharist is taking your child to Mass regularly and helping your child understand what it is all about. If there is a children’s Mass you can take your child to that and encourage him or her to participate.
Many parishes now run a preparatory programme for children preparing for First Communion. This programme is called “Do This in Memory”. This usually takes place once a month at a particular Mass where the children preparing for First Communion are invited to sit together and the priest explains the readings to the children.
Leaflets giving information and hints to parents on how to prepare their children are also available at these Masses. Many children now receive First Communion at a regular mass in their parish and preparation is parish rather than school based. Others are prepared both at school and in the parish. It is important that what is being taught at school and at home are in harmony.
As a parent it is worthwhile asking to see the school’s Communion programme and finding out how you can help your child. Very often schools will invite you along to one or more meetings before the First Communion day. Though the basic Catholic belief in the Eucharist hasn’t changed over the years, how it is put over to children today may well be very different from the way it was put over to you or your parents so attending such a meeting can be very informative and supportive in helping you prepare your child.
There are a number of books available to Parents to assist in preparing your child for the Sacrament of the Eucharist - click here for some ideas.