The Eucharist is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church and is considered the source and summit of Christian life. In the Eucharist, bread and wine are consecrated by a priest during Mass and become the body and blood of Christ. Catholics believe that through the sacrament of the Eucharist, they receive the real presence of Jesus Christ, who offers them spiritual nourishment and sustenance.
Canon law outlines the requirements for receiving the Eucharist for both children and adults. Here are the requirements for each:
Children who have been baptized and have reached the age of reason (usually around 7 years old) are eligible to receive their First Holy Communion.
Children must undergo preparation and formation in the Catholic faith, typically through religious education classes or catechesis.
Children must have a basic understanding of the Eucharist and must be able to receive the sacrament with reverence and devotion.
Adults who have been baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church are eligible to receive the Eucharist.
Adults who have not been confirmed in the Catholic Church but who have been baptized in another Christian denomination may be eligible to receive the Eucharist after a period of discernment and preparation.
Adults who are not baptized in any Christian denomination must undergo the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) in order to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church and eligible to receive the Eucharist.