First Holy Communion


First Communion is considered one of the holiest and most important occasions in a Roman Catholic's life. It is celebrated when a person has received the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the first time. In the Diocese of Middlesbrough, most Catholic children make their First Communion when they're around seven or eight years of age (school years 3 & 4) because this is considered the age of reason. Others can receive communion for the first time whenever they've met all of the Church's requirements. By continuing to receive Holy Communion for the rest of their lives, Catholics become one with Christ and are promised a share in His eternal life. 

Isn't it just an excuse for a party?

There's more to a child's first communion than a pretty white dress, presents and a party! First Holy Communion means that the children have studied and understood to the best of their abilities the mystery of transubstantiation, which means the changing of the substances of ordinary bread and wine into the real presence of Christ's living flesh. A child should therefore be able to tell the difference between Eucharistic bread and regular food. 

What does this involve?

At the Cathedral, the parents/guardians and the children preparing to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament for the first time must attend 7 preparation sessions, led by Canon Paul. This is necessary because it is so important that both you and your child are aware of just how important this sacrament is and will be for the rest of your child's life.  

When will the Preparation course start

The preparation course will start in the autumn either in the Cathedral hall or on Zoom. Please enquire at for more details.

 Please note: attendance to ALL sessions is compulsory.