“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever.” Jn 6:51

“The Eucharist is such a great gift. That’s why going to Mass is so important. Going to Mass not just to pray, but to receive Communion, the Bread and Body of Christ. It saves us, forgives us and it makes us one with the Father. How beautiful!”

Pope Francis on Holy Communion

Questions about First Holy Communion:

One of the joys we celebrate as a community is when our parish children receive the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time in their life. For them, it is the most sacred moment in their earthly lives and marks a deepening of their friendship with Christ.

Holy Communion preparation is for children (year 4 +) who are coming to Mass at the Cathedral with their families and are resident in the Cathedral parish. Applications for the preparation programme for 2022-23 has now closed.

Information about the 2023-24 preparation programme will be available next year. 

Please register so that we know you wish to be part of the parish family and its mission. Even if you have registered in the past, we ask you to do so again in order that we can ensure that our parish database is up to date. Once you have registered we will be able to keep in contact with you and to inform you of all that is going on in the parish and how you might wish to be involved in our mission.

If possible, please set up a standing order to contribute to the running costs, work and mission of your parish family.

Set up Standing Order WITH Gift AidSet up a Standing Order WITHOUT Gift Aid

N.B. If you have any queries or need any help doing this please contact the parish office.

Once these stages have both been completed, please confirm that you have done so with the parish office.

I would ask you to do both these things before your children’s preparation sessions begin. Once these have both been completed, please confirm that you have done so with the parish office. If you have an queries about this, please do not hesitate to contact me. Please do not contact the volunteer catechists.

When human beings practice something (for example, playing an instrument, kicking a football or learning to drive a car) they do it repeatedly until their abilities develop and it becomes “second nature” to them. Of course, if you only practice occasionally or intermittently, it is unlikely to make much change to your ability or who you are.

Our human relationships, especially our friendships, call for practice. The more time we spend with a person and engage with them in profound ways, physically, emotionally and spiritually, then, the deeper the friendship is likely to be. This is why married couples often describe themselves as “best friends” or “soul mates”. While the people we spend less time with or are an occasional exchange of a text message are more likely to be described as acquaintances. Those relationships that have been broken by some event or those people we use only when we want something from them cannot be described as authentic friendships.

Our Catholic faith is about our personal friendship with Jesus, the Son of God. We believe that he waits for us weekly at Sunday Mass. It is through this sacred meeting that our friendship with him is nurtured and grows. It is there that Christ speaks to us as friends through his living word, the Sacred Scriptures, and feeds us with his own divine life in Holy Communion. And the reason Catholics call this “the practice of our faith” is because meeting Christ every week in this way, over time, deepens our relationship with him, changes us, and prepares us for that time when we will be with him eternally in heaven.

Please note that these sessions are only for parents who have enrolled their children on the preparation programme for 2022-23. We are not accepting any more children onto this programme.

All the children receiving the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time will sit together. There will be some catechists beside them. The family of each child will be allocated a single row of nine seats for family and friends. In other words, a “rule of nine” will apply at these Masses. This will help our children to focus on their friendship with Christ and how he comes to them for the first time in Holy Communion. Also they will have those who are closest to them celebrating this sacred moment in their lives with them. This will also help to ensure that our celebration of Mass is reverent, prayerful and joyful. If you have any queries about this “rule of nine” please contact Fr Martin