Full Question: Why does our Eparchy still practice “first Holy Communion” when catechumens receive all three sacraments during their baptism. Isn’t a “latinization” that we should move on from if we are to retain the authenticity of our liturgical traditions?
Answered from: Fr. Planchak
Thanks for this good question.
You see, we need to look at this question from a different perspective. For a long time we served Baptism and Chrismation first, and when a child was 7 or 8 years old we prepared them for their First Holy Communion.
I came to the Eparchy of Edmonton 30 years ago and then only one of our priests administered all three sacraments at Baptism.
Today I believe almost all priests do so, but there are parishioners who do not want babies to be given Holy Communion. Some of our parishioners come from other eparchies where the renewal of our original traditions is done more slowly than in our Eparchy. Others are in a mixed marriage where the background of the spouses may be different. Sometimes it is a matter of being educated differently. We should be careful and take a slow and pastoral approach in educating and respecting all our parishioners.
Our usual practice is to invite children attending second or third grade to prepare for First Confession and Solemn Holy Communion, but for some children this is actually their First Holy Communion. I did not live at the time when “Latinization” began, but I believe it did not start overnight and will not change overnight.
Hopefully I gave you something to think about in answer to your question.