First Communion

a group of children in first communion dresses and suits around a priest

Any Catholic child – or any child prepared to start living as a Catholic – can prepare to receive their First Holy Communion when they are in School Year 3 or above. (That’s the year in which they will have their 8th birthday.) There are several pathways to preparation within the Pastorate:

  • On Sundays following the 9.15 Mass at All Hallows Church, Miskin
  • On Tuesday evenings at St Dyfrig’s Church, Treforest
  • As an after-school club in Ss Gabriel & Raphael Primary School, Tonypandy

Children not yet baptised will be prepared for baptism as part of the overall process of preparation. Children baptised into a non-Catholic tradition will be prepared for formal reception into the Catholic Church. Children already in Secondary School, however, would prepare for Baptism, Reception or First Communion by participating in our Young Disciples Group.

Application forms are available at weekend Masses throughout November and December, and the children’s preparation activities will run from late January or February until May or June. It is now too late for admission to the 2024 preparation activities but pre-enrolment will be welcomed for 2025.

Dates for 2025

Candidates will be enrolled at the Mass they usually attend on the weekend of 15/16 February 2025.

The Candidates’ Retreat Day takes place at All Hallows on 10 May 2025.

First Communion Masses will take place:

  • All Hallows – 9.15 am 1 June 2025
  • Ss Gabriel & Raphael – 5.30 pm 14 June 2025
  • St Dyfrig’s – 11.15 am 22 June 2025
  • St Mary Magdalene – 4 pm 22 June 2025

Any baptised Catholic child can be admitted to the Sacraments of Confession (Reconciliation) and Holy Communion as soon as they are mature enough to receive these sacraments and have been properly prepared.

To receive Holy Communion, a child must have made their First Confession, and recognise that what they are receiving is something holy – it is the Body of Jesus Himself.

To make a valid Confession, a child has to have an understanding of the difference between right and wrong, and what it is to be sorry for making a wrong choice. A typical child will be able to do this around the age of 7

If your child has not yet been baptised, or was baptised in another Christian tradition but now wishes to become a Catholic, you will need to apply for this, and we will prepare them as an integral part of the First Communion Course.

For children in Year 7 or above to be presented for First Communion, special age-appropriate arrangements will need to be made.

Children who belong to Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Churches may also receive Holy Communion at Catholic churches, at the age normal in their own tradition, due to our shared understanding of this Sacrament.

In general, yes, as long as the child is prepared in time for their First Communion ceremony.

In 2025, the All Hallows course and ceremony will be significantly earlier than the other parishes. So it will not be possible for children who prepare elsewhere  to be ready in time for the 1 June 2025 ceremony at All Hallows. But children from all three courses may be scheduled for the 14 June (Tonypandy) or 22 June (Treforest and Ynyshir) ceremonies.

If parents wish a child to make First Communion elsewhere after following one of the preparation schemes in the Pastorate, permission letters can be issued  for children who have attended Mass and the parish course regularly.

If another parish is willing to accept your child on to their preparation programme, or if you can demonstrate that you have personally prepared your child to attend Mass with reverence and understanding every weekend, then once the preparation is complete, you can apply for First Communion in one of the pastorate parishes without attending one of our courses.

Catholics are expected to attend Mass every Sunday and every Holy Day of Obligation.

Catholics who are genuinely unable to attend Mass on a particular Sunday are expected to keep the Lord’s Day holy by taking time to worship on that day. The Church does not prescribe how to worship in these circumstances, but attentive participation to a livestream of a Mass would be a good way of doing so.

As a parish community, we are committed to keeping one another connected. Please do not be afraid to ask another Catholic family if an occasional lift to Mass is possible, or to contact the parish to ask if someone can bring Holy Communion to your home and conduct a prayer service.

Any baptised Catholic child can be admitted to the Sacraments of Confession (Reconciliation) and Holy Communion as soon as they are mature enough to receive these sacraments and have been properly prepared.

To receive Holy Communion, a child must have made their First Confession, and recognise that what they are receiving is something holy – it is the Body of Jesus Himself.

To make a valid Confession, a child has to have an understanding of the difference between right and wrong, and what it is to be sorry for making a wrong choice. A typical child will be able to do this around the age of 7

If your child has not yet been baptised, or was baptised in another Christian tradition but now wishes to become a Catholic, you will need to apply for this, and we will prepare them as an integral part of the First Communion Course.

For children in Year 7 or above to be presented for First Communion, special age-appropriate arrangements will need to be made.

Children who belong to Eastern/Oriental Orthodox Churches may also receive Holy Communion at Catholic churches, at the age normal in their own tradition, due to our shared understanding of this Sacrament.

In general, yes, as long as the child is prepared in time for their First Communion ceremony.

In 2025, the All Hallows course and ceremony will be significantly earlier than the other parishes. So it will not be possible for children who prepare elsewhere  to be ready in time for the 1 June 2025 ceremony at All Hallows. But children from all three courses may be scheduled for the 14 June (Tonypandy) or 22 June (Treforest and Ynyshir) ceremonies.

If parents wish a child to make First Communion elsewhere after following one of the preparation schemes in the Pastorate, permission letters can be issued  for children who have attended Mass and the parish course regularly.

If another parish is willing to accept your child on to their preparation programme, or if you can demonstrate that you have personally prepared your child to attend Mass with reverence and understanding every weekend, then once the preparation is complete, you can apply for First Communion in one of the pastorate parishes without attending one of our courses.

Catholics are expected to attend Mass every Sunday and every Holy Day of Obligation.

Catholics who are genuinely unable to attend Mass on a particular Sunday are expected to keep the Lord’s Day holy by taking time to worship on that day. The Church does not prescribe how to worship in these circumstances, but attentive participation to a livestream of a Mass would be a good way of doing so.

As a parish community, we are committed to keeping one another connected. Please do not be afraid to ask another Catholic family if an occasional lift to Mass is possible, or to contact the parish to ask if someone can bring Holy Communion to your home and conduct a prayer service.