The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that "The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments" (#1113). At Mass, we are fed by the Word and nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ.

In the Diocese of Richmond, First Eucharist is typically prepared for and first celebrated in the second grade or later. Preparation for First Reconciliation (Penance) must take place before preparation for First Eucharist.

To be considered ready for these sacraments, the child must:

  • Have been baptized and reached their 7th birthday.
  • Expressed an interest in receiving Holy Communion.
  • Have a sense of belonging to the Catholic Christian community.
  • Participate weekly in Sunday Eucharist.
  • Participate in regular, systematic religious faith formation, either in the parish, the home, Catholic School, and/or combination thereof.
  • Pray at home.
  • Relate to Jesus as one who loves and cares for her or him.
  • Understand that he or she is to care for others.

Before preparing for First Holy Communion, the child must be prepared for and have the opportunity to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation Penance.
At St. Pius X, preparation for First Reconciliation begins in the Summer of the Fall.
Preparation for First Eucharist takes place in the Fall or the Spring.

Since most of the preparation for these sacraments takes place in the home (we provide you with materials and training), parents should:

  • Demonstrate a willingness to participate in their child's religious education and sacramental preparation (i.e., enroll them in systematic religious education in the parish, home, Catholic School and/or a combination thereof).
  • Participate weekly in Sunday Mass.
  • Ensure a healthy prayer life at home.
  • Participate with their children in acts of Christian charity.

We will regularly advertise when sacramental preparation programs are beginning through the various parish channels of communication. If you have any questions about sacramental preparation, please contact Cass Hooker at (757)381-7122 or



The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. (CCC 1324)