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SOME READINGS ON THE AGE OF FIRST COMMUNION FOR CHILDREN

FROM EARLY CHURCH HISTORY

It is now well established that in the early days of Christianity it was not uncommon for infants to receive Communion immediately after they were baptized. Among others St. Cyprian (Lib. de Lapsis, c. xxv) makes reference to the practice. In the East the custom was pretty universal, and even to this day exists in some places, but in the West infant Communion was not so general. Here, moreover, it was restricted to the occasions of baptism and dangerous illness. Probably it originated in a mistaken notion of the absolute necessity of the Blessed Eucharist for salvation, founded on the words of St. John (vi, 54).

The manner of Communicating infants was by dipping the finger in the consecrated chalice and then applying it to the tongue of the child. This would seem to imply that it was only the Precious Blood that was administered, but evidence is not wanting to show that the other Consecrated Species was also given in similar circumstances (cf. Sebastiano Giribaldi, Op. Mor., I, c. 72). That infants and children not yet come to the use of reason may not only validly but even fruitfully receive the Blessed Eucharist is now the universally received opinion, but it is opposed to Catholic teaching to hold that this sacrament is necessary for their salvation (Council of Trent, Sess. XXI, can. iv).

CHURCH LAWS ON FIRST COMMUNION

The existing legislation with regard to the Communion of children has been definitely settled by the Fourth Lateran Council, which was afterwards confirmed by the authority of the Council of Trent.

According to its provisions children may not be admitted to the Blessed Eucharist until they have attained to years of discretion, but when this period is reached then they are bound to receive this sacrament.

When may they be said to have attained the age of discretion? In the best-supported view of theologians this phrase means, not the attainment of a definite number of years, but rather the arrival at a certain stage in mental development, when children become able to discern the Eucharistic from ordinary bread, to realize in some measure the dignity and excellence of the Sacrament of the Altar, to believe in the Real Presence, and adore Christ under the sacramental veils. De Lugo (De Euch., disp. xiii, n. 36, Ben. XIV, De Syn., vii) says that if children are observed to assist at Mass with devotion and attention it is a sign that they are come to this discretion.

CERTAIN ERRORS ABOUT FIRST COMMUNION PASTORAL PRACTICE: (From John Cardinal Wright)

The Decree Quam Singulari, in treating the age at which children are to be initiated into their post-baptismal sacramental life, had to face (as had a decree on frequent Communion by the Sacred Congregation of the Council, five years before) certain doctrinal and ascetical errors that had become deeply rooted in Catholic life at the opening of the century, at least in some parts of the world.

JANSENISM

One of these was the pretense that a greater discretion is required for first Communion than for first Confession. This, like most of the other errors, was rooted in Jansenism: for example, one was the idea that to receive first Holy Communion requires a nearly complete knowledge of the Articles of Faith and, therefore, an extraordinary preparation. In effect, this means deferring first Communion for the riper age of 12, 14 or even older.

REMEDY NOT REWARD

Another error was the pretense that "the Holy Eucharist is a reward (for virtue), not a remedy for human frailty," a conceit which is contrary to the teaching of the Council of Trent that Holy Communion is "an antidote by which we are freed from our daily faults and preserved from mortal sins. (Cardinal Wright).

WHEN IS THE RIPE AGE FOR FIRST COMMUNION?

As far as age is concerned, the most suitable age seems to be still between seven to eight years, as we have it today, and this for many reasons.

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, the Vatican official responsible for worship and the sacraments, with the blessings of Pope Benedict XVI suggested that children be allowed to receive first Holy Communion before their seventh birthday.

Today, he said, “children live immersed in a thousand difficulties, surrounded by a difficult environment that does not encourage them to be what God wants them to be”.

A child’s first Communion, he said, was “like the beginning of a journey with Jesus… the beginning of a friendship destined to last and to grow for his entire life”.

But can children younger than seven truly grasp the doctrine of the Real Presence? Is it not more important to ensure they have a firm grasp of its significance?

On the other hand, children develop at different rates. If they are well prepared, it seems sensible for them not to wait unnecessarily. And it is better, surely, for the “journey with Jesus” to start as early as possible. (Cardinal Canizares our essays online service Llovera).

PASTORAL ERRORS ON FIRST COMMUNION

In the precise determination of "the age of reason or discretion" not a few errors and deplorable abuses have crept in during the course of time. There were some who maintained that one age of discretion must be assigned to reception of the Sacrament of Penance and another to the Holy Eucharist. They held that for Confession the age of discretion is reached when one can distinguish right from wrong, hence can commit sin; for Holy Eucharist, however, a greater age is required in which a full knowledge of matters of faith and a better preparation of the soul can be had.

As a consequence, owing to various local customs and opinions, the age determined for the reception of First Communion was placed at ten years or twelve, and in places fourteen years or even more were required; and until that age children and youth were prohibited from Eucharistic Communion.

This practice of preventing the faithful from receiving on the plea of safeguarding the august Sacrament has been the cause of many evils.

It happened that children in their innocence were forced away from the embrace of Christ and deprived of the food of their interior life; and from this it also happened that in their youth, destitute of this strong help, surrounded by so many temptations, they lost their innocence and fell into vicious habits even before tasting of the Sacred Mysteries. And even if a thorough instruction and a careful Sacramental Confession should precede Holy Communion, which does not everywhere occur, still the loss of first innocence is always to be deplored and might have been avoided by reception of the Eucharist in more tender years.

Such is the injury caused by those who insist on extraordinary preparations for First Communion, beyond what is reasonable; and they doubtless do not realize that such precautions proceed from the errors of the Jansenists who contended that the Most Holy Eucharist is a reward rather than a remedy for human frailty.

This doctrine was not long ago strongly emphasized by a Decree of the Sacred Congregation of the Council given on December 20, 1905.

Daily approach to Communion is open to all, old and young, and two conditions only are required: the state of grace and a right intention. Moreover, the fact that in ancient times the remaining particles of the Sacred Species were even given to nursing infants seems to indicate that no extraordinary preparation should now be demanded of children who are in the happy state of innocence and purity of soul, and who, amidst so many dangers and seductions of the present time have a special need of this heavenly food.

From all this it is clear that the age of discretion for receiving Holy Communion is that at which the child knows the difference between the Eucharistic Bread and ordinary, material bread, and can therefore approach the altar with proper devotion.

Perfect knowledge of the things of faith, therefore, is not required, for an elementary knowledge suffices–some knowledge; similarly full use of reason is not required, for a certain beginning of the use of reason, that is, some use of reason suffices.

FROM SAINT PIUS X

Saint Pius X has deemed it needful to prescribe the following rules which are to be observed everywhere for the First Communion of children.

1. The age of discretion, both for Confession and for Holy Communion, is the time when a child begins to reason, that is about the seventh year, more or less. From that time on begins the obligation of fulfilling the precept of both Confession and Communion.

2. A full and perfect knowledge of Christian doctrine is not necessary either for First Confession or for First Communion. Afterwards, however, the child will be obliged to learn gradually the entire Catechism according to his ability.

3. The knowledge of religion which is required in a child in order to be properly prepared to receive First Communion is such that he will understand according to his capacity those Mysteries of faith which are necessary as a means of salvation (<necessitate medii>) and that he can distinguish between the Bread of the Eucharist and ordinary, material bread, and thus he may receive Holy Communion with a devotion becoming his years.

4. The obligation of the precept of Confession and Communion which binds the child particularly affects those who have him in charge, namely, parents, confessor, teachers and the pastor. It belongs to the father, or the person taking his place, and to the confessor, according to the Roman Catechism, to admit a child to his First Communion.

5. The pastor should announce and hold a General Communion of the children once a year or more often, and he should on these occasions admit not only the First Communicants but also others who have already approached the Holy Table with the above-mentioned consent of their parents or confessor. Some days of instruction and preparation should be previously given to both Cialis Online Pharmacy Overnight U.S. Delivery . Indian Cialis Pro . Maquipucuna is the generic viagra in the usa closest pristine rainforest to Quito. PerfectВ  classes of children.

6. Those who have charge of the children should zealously see to it that after their First Communion these children frequently approach the Holy Table, even daily if possible, as Jesus Christ and Mother Church desire, and let this be done with a devotion becoming their age. They must also bear in mind that very grave duty which obliged them to have the children attend the public Catechism classes; if this is not done, then they must supply religious instruction in some other way.

CARDINAL CASTRILLON HOYOS, Jan 8, 2005

Pope Saint Pius X, a great Pope canonized by the Church, dedicated no small attention and pastoral effort to children. On August 8, 1910 he issued the Decree Quam Singulari, in which he established that children could receive First Holy Communion at the age of seven.

Important to the pastoral care of children is allowing them to approach the Eucharistic Communion, after they have received the necessary preparation in their parishes to learn the primary and fundamental elements of the Christian faith, without their having to wait unduly long. The age of discretion comes individually, around seven years, when common bread can be distinguished from the Eucharistic bread, the true Body of Christ. Few are unconvinced, together with Pope Saint Pius X, that the praxis of allowing children First Holy Communion at the age of seven has brought great graces to the Church. The rest must not fail to remember that in the early Church, the Sacrament of the Eucharist was administered to babies immediately after baptism, under the species of a few drops of wine.

To allow children to receive the Eucharistic Jesus as soon as possible has been for many centuries one of the strong points of the pastoral outreach to the smallest members of the Church. The custom reestablished by Pope Saint Pius X in his time has been praised by his Successors, including our own Blesses John Paul II. Canon 914 completely sets forth the Papal thought: «It is primarily the duty of parents and of those who take their place, as it is the duty of the parish priest, to ensure that children who have reached the use of reason are properly prepared and, having made their sacramental confession, are nourished by this divine food as soon as possible. ( Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos)

BLESSED JOHN PAUL II

For how many children in the history of the Church has the Eucharist been a source of spiritual strength, sometimes even heroic strength! How can we fail to be reminded, for example, of holy boys and girls who lived in the first centuries and are still known and venerated throughout the Church? Saint Agnes, who lived in Rome; Saint Agatha, who was martyred in Sicily; Saint Tarcisius, a boy who is rightly called the "martyr of the Eucharist" because he preferred to die rather than give up Jesus, whom he was carrying under the appearance of bread.

"My predecessor Saint Pius X gave a touching testimony to his pastoral love for children by the changes he introduced regarding the reception of First Holy Communion.  Not only did he lower the age for approaching the Eucharistic Table (I was able to take advantage of this in May, 1929), but he also introduced the possibility of receiving Communion before the age of seven, if the child demonstrates sufficient understanding.  This pastoral decision to bring forward the reception of Holy Communion is most commendable.  It has yielded rich fruits if holiness in children and in the apostolate among the young, in addition to a flowering of priestly vocations." (John Paul II, "Rise, Let Us Be On Our Way," Rome 2004, p. 103). 

POPE BENEDICT XVI

At Castel Gandolfo on August 18, 2010, Pope Benedict reiterated the pastoral directive of Saint Esomeprazole interaction escitalopram solubility water descontinuar – cheap esomeprazole in internet coupon no script vermont. п»ї. 20 января, 2014 – 17:06 — Pius X on the age of First Communion. "For this," continued Benedict XVI, "St Pius X recommended receiving the sacraments often, promoting daily participation in Holy Communion, (being) well prepared, and anticipating opportunely the First Communion of children at seven years of age, ‘when the child begins to reason’ … "

The Secret is Silent Prayer

A Meditation for Priests Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, DD 8 April 2011

‘And the fire on the altar shall always burn, and the priest shall feed it, putting wood on it every day in the morning…This is the perpetual fire which shall never go out on the altar. (Lev 6:12-13)

Silver Anniversary Celebration of Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas, DDWhen He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him …  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us …?” (Luke 24, 30-32)

Every now and then, a younger brother priest would come up to me with these words, “How can we keep the fire of our priesthood alive? After only a few months after ordination, I already feel bored. I feel dry. I am not excited anymore. I might not last.” A priest who is not at peace with himself will not be able to inspire peace in another soul. O priests, you bright candles enlightening human souls, let your brightness never be dimmed. (Divine Mercy in my Soul, Diary of St. Faustina, 75).

Lost Fire

Every priest knows that feeling of order a essay the well drying up and the fire dying. The ordination honeymoon seems to end so quickly and monotony soon sets in. Burning out, running on empty —the feeling is all too familiar

The onslaught of all these feelings boils down to prayer, or more specifically, the lack or neglect of it. Indeed, pastoral action is attractive and so emotionally rewarding, and priests tend to be consumed by it. But when we sacrifice personal prayer for the sake of pastoral action, burn out, boredom and monotony will set in fast.

Unfortunately, the first victim in this boredom and burn out phenomenon is the Mass. We offer the Mass haphazardly without noticing it because we no longer examine our consciences anymore. We rush the prayers and omit the songs forgetting that the face of God is more important than the face of our wristwatch. We rehash old homilies ad nauseam. We put on the Mass vestments like we put on our ordinary shirts and pants and after we unvest, we just throw them on the table of the sacristy, in a rush to go to another appointment. The source and summit of our Christian life has become just a duty to do and a source of revenue. Sad! Why? How can we reverse the path?

In our desire to invigorate our seemingly humdrum life we begin to indulge Pronunciation guide (phonetic spelling and recorded audio) of tadalafil , also known as Cialis, which is a Top 250 Drug in the drug class of Phosphodiesterase 5В  in “other pursuits”. We explore hobbies and sports – photography, golf, tennis … We pursue further studies. We join more socials. Buy more gadgets. Take longer and farther vacations.

But the happiness continues to evade us. “In our age, as in every age, people are longing for happiness, not realizing that what they are looking for is holiness”. (Jerry Walls). The fire cannot be ignited again. We become mediocre and lukewarm and get accustomed to bland, tasteless water. We just submit to the reality that the wine of the Lord is no more.

Find Him where You Lost Him

It need not be so. You will find God where you lost Him. You lost Him at Mass? You will find Him again there. “… The whole Church draws life from the Eucharist, all the more then must the life of a priest be “shaped” by the Eucharist. So for us, the words of institution must be more than a formula of consecration: they must be a “formula of life“. (Letter of John Paul II to priests on Holy Thursday 2005, n.1).

Where in the Mass can we recover the Lord? As a brother to a brother, I encourage you to look at the silent prayers at Mass that we tend to gloss over or even totally ignore or forget because of haste or lack of concentration. “Even before the celebration itself, it is commendable that silence to be observed in the church, in the sacristy, in the vesting room, and in adjacent areas, so that all may dispose themselves to carry out the sacred action in a devout and fitting manner.”(GIRM, 45)

The priest’s silent prayers in various parts of the Mass are personal prayers that will help us to see ourselves not just as ministers for the validity of the sacraments but as fellow worshipers of the priestly people. The silent prayers prescribed for the priests during the Mass are not for the people but for us. These silent prayers remind us that we are not only there to bless; we also need to be blessed. We are not just at the ambo to teach; we are there to be taught also. We are not Best Prices For All Customers! Buy Nexium online . Online Drugstore, Nexium Average Cost. just there by the altar to minister; we also need to be ministered to. We are not just functionaries. We are not just tools. The Lord has calls us His friends.

The silent prayers of the priest at Mass, if properly prayed, will open for us that sense of awe and amazement as we perform our holy duty. “This amazement should always fill the Church assembled for the celebration of the Eucharist. But in a special way it should fill the minister of the Eucharist.” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 5).

ALD Lenten Formation Program outlined by Archbishop Villegas

20 January 2010 – Dagupan City. The annual Lenten Formation Program for the Lay Liturgical Ministers, convent and school personnel as well as the office staff of the different parishes of the Archdiocese has already been scheduled. In a letter addressed to the clergy, Archbishop Socrates B. Vilelgas, DD, outlined the need to “sustain the spirit of lay empowerment in the Church” by conducting the formation program for the different lay collaborators in the Church.

The lay collaborators referred to are the  altar servers, greeters and ushers, collectors, choir directors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, lectors and commentators.

All the seminar participants are to present letters of recommendation from their respective parish priests or school directors. This is to ensure that only lay workers in good standing in the schools or parishes receive commissioning or re-commissioning after the formation program.

All the formation program will be held at the Lay Formation Center. Fr. Mario Sanchez, the Director of LFC, has made the schedule for the formation program.  He urged the priests to follow the schedule to facilitate the submission of the recommendation letters.

BEFORE January 31, 2010 (Sunday), the recommendation letter must contain the following:

i. ALTAR SERVERS – 9 to 15 years old, at least one year in serving the liturgy, must be regularly attending mass and receiving Holy Communion.

ii. COLLECTA TEAM MEMBERS, GREETERS, and USHERS.

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b. BEFORE February 17, 2010 (Ash Wednesday), the recommendation letter should contain the names of the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC) and the Lectors-Commentators.

c. BEFORE March 28, 2010 (Palm Sunday), the recommendation letter should contain the names of the Choir Directors and Instrumentalists, and the NEW Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Lectors-Commentators who are to attend the BASIC FORMATION.

Archbishop Villegas mandated that the rite of commissioning for lay liturgical ministers and social action ministers in the parishes will be done during the Holy Thursday Evening of the Lord’s Supper. The Archdiocesan Liturgical Ministry will  prepare the rites.

This is the first time that the liturgical ministers and the social action minister will be commissioned on Holy Thursday. Msgr. Villegas said that “Holy Thursday commemorates not only the institution of the Holy Eucharist  but the mandate to love; hence the commissioning of social action Mar 31, 2015 -  ministers must happen together with the lay liturgical ministers.

In the past, the commissioning of the lay liturgical ministers was done during the Chrism Mass celebrated at the St. John Parish Church in Dagupan City.

Msgr. Villegas emphasized in his letter that “formation is the real meaning of empowerment. True empowerment is only for ministry. Ministry is the sure path to sanctity”.

To view the schedule of the Formation Program, please click the image below or go the Lay Formation Center Website.

Schedule of the Formation of Lay Ministers for 2009 set

The schedule for the formation of the different Lay Ministers has been set. Archbishop Oscar V. Cruz, DD,  in his Circular Letter No. 4, (Series 2009), directed that the Formational Agenda for the Lay Ministers this year shall focus on St. Paul and his writings. This is to be done in commemoration of the 200th birth anniversary of St. Paul Jump to Treatments for Mania – treatment of mania . Mania is usually treated with a mood stabilizer, but additional treatment with a drug used toВ  and in response to Pope Benedicts’s promulgation that June 2008-2009 as the Pauline Year.

This Compare viagra to levitra, brand viagra online – Drug store, cheap prices! Erectile brand neurotin erectile viagra online order Cialis dysfunction can occurВ  year 2009, the Formation Program shall also include the other members of the parish ministry — the ushers/usherrettes and the collecta team, the members of the choir besides the Lectors and Commentators and the Eucharistic Ministers.

The first Formation Seminar for the Parish Choral Groups shall be held on 21 February, Saturday for Vicariates 1 and 2; 22 February for Vicariates 3 and 4.

The Recollection-Seminar for the Liturgical Ushers and Usherettes together with the members of the Collecta Team will be 28 February, Saturday for Vicariates 1 and 2; and 1 March, Sunday for Vicariates 3 and 4.

The Annual Lenten Recollection of Lay Ministers, viz., the Lectors and writing an essay Commentators and the Lay Eucharistic Ministers will start on 7 March, Saturday. The formation seminar for the new Lay Ministers will be held on 7-8 April, Holy Tuesday and Holy Wednesday.

All the formation seminars and recollections will be held at the Lay Formation Center, Bonuan Gueset, Dagupan City. Holy Mass at 8:30 AM will open the day. It will end at 4:00 PM.  The paricipants are asked to bring the a Bible and writing materials. There is seminar fee of Phil. Pesos Two hundred (P200.00).

For the complete schedule, kindly click this link provided by the Lay Formation Center.

Family and Life Apotolate to hold Updating on Natural Family Planning

The Family and Life Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan will be holding a series of lectures for three successive Sundays on the Natural Family Planning. It will held at the F.A.S.T Hall of St. Therese Parish, Dagupan City, on the following Sundays of February: February 8, 15 The following drugs and medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of mania . This service should be used as a supplement to, and NOT aВ  and 22.

Rev. Fr. Winston Estrada, the FLA Director, will give the orientation on the program on the first Sunday. Bro. Joey Patawaran will lecture on “Dignity of Man and Personhood”. On the second Sunday, Sis. Linda Ganar of the National Offie of NFP/BOM, will be talking on the different methods of the Natural Family Planning. Sis. Chat Vidal will share on the S.A.F.E Series on Human Sexuality. Bro. Manny and Sis Mila Ceralde will talk on Psycho-Sexual Development and Responsible Parenthood. The last two topics will be taken on the last Sunday of Call 1-800-467-0297 or Order Online. Buy Real Viagra , Cialis on-line essay writing site , Levitra, Stendra, Staxyn Authentic Erectile Dysfunction Prescription Medications. Genuine, Name Brand FDA-approved Lifestyle Pills Prescribed Online by USA LicensedВ  the program.

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