Sacramental Preparation Guidelines

Diocesan Sacramental Readiness Guidelines

Sacramental Preparation Information

Dates for Sacramental Preparation classes will be provided upon registration. Be watching the weekly bulletin and/or parish web site for upcoming dates and times or contact one of the Faith Formation Staff.  Typically, Reconciliation prep is held in the fall, while Eucharist Prep is held in the late winter-early spring so that youth may choose to prepare for both in a single school year.  Confirmation preparation follows 2 years of classes at the 8th and 9th grade level.

Diocesan Sacramental Readiness Guidelines

Catholic children should be growing in their faith through Catholic school* or Parish Faith Formation** program between grades 1-9, attending Mass regularly and serving as physically and mentally capable in parish life in order to participate in preparation for the sacraments. There are minimum grades/ages set for reception of the sacraments.

*Catholic Schools include the Diocesan Catholic Elementary Schools and Sienna Catholic Academy which are under the auscipes of the Diocese Superintendant.  It also includes several Private Catholic Schools: Aquinas, Bishop Carney, McQuaid, Nativity Prep, Nazareth, Notre Dame, and Mercy.

**Parish Faith Formation Programs include a variety of models, weekly or bi weekly traditional classes, monthly whole community programs, summer intenvive and year round programs, as well as Home Study.  Home Study referes to lessons done at home with the parents using materials provided by the parish.

Homeschooling - Students that are homeschooled in all subjects may choose to use parish provided materials or select materials that meet with the pastors approval.

First Reconciliation/First Eucharist

Children should prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving First Eucharist.

They should have been enrolled in one year of Catholic School or parish faith formation for a year before preparing for Reconciliation and should have reached the "Age of Reason" 7 years old.

Children should continue to be enrolled in Catholic School or parish faith formation while preparing for the sacraments.


Children should have been enrolled in 2 years of Catholic school or Parish Faith Formation for 2 years prior to receiving Confirmation.  This may begin in 8th grade at the earliest for a celebration of Confirmation at the end of 9th grade or beginning of 10th grade.(There is the assumption that children have been continuously in Catholic school or Parish Faith Formation from grades 1-7 prior to beginning the 2 years prior to Confirmation preparation.) 


Family Readiness:

  • The family participates in the life of the parish through worship, faith formation and service.
  • The parents are willing to commit to the continuing formation of their child through worship, formation and service.
  • The family attends Mass together weekly.
  • The child(ren) have participated in faith formation for a minimum of one year prior to preparation for a sacrament.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation (formerly known as Penance or Confession) Readiness:

  • The child has a foundational understanding of God’s love.
  • The child has an age-appropriate understanding of right and wrong.
  • The child has an understanding that all human beings commit wrong-doing (sin).
  • The child has reached the age of 7.
  • The child has completed one year of Catholic religious instruction.

The Sacrament of Eucharist (also known as Holy Communion) Readiness:

  • The child has a foundational understanding of Jesus’ life and death.
  • The child is able to differentiate between table bread/wine and the body/blood of Christ.
  • The child attends Mass weekly and is able to participate in an age-appropriate manner.
  • The child has celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The Sacrament of Confirmation Readiness:

  • The child/youth has received Baptism, Reconciliation and Eucharist.
  • The child/youth participates fully in parish life (weekly Mass, parish service, regular faith formation).
  • The child/youth has a desire to continue to participate fully in parish life.
  • The child/youth has an age-appropriate understanding of faith.
  • The child/youth has a personal desire to confirm his/her baptism as a Catholic Christian.
  • The child/youth has completed two years of religious instruction at the 8th and 9th grade level.