Practice Communion?

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Is holding a practice session for 1st Holy Communion a common method for preparing candidates for this sacrament? Please note that un-consecrated wine and bread were used during this practice session. I had trouble finding any good reason for doing this. The reason I was given for giving the kids a taste of the wine was to try to prevent any ‘ugly’ faces on communion day. Any thoughts?
When I was preparing for First Holy Communion…bout 12 or 13 years ago…they did the same thing…and gave us pretty much the same line about “ugly faces.”
It seems to be pretty common. But I wish it weren’t done, as it leads to confusion between the consecrated and unconsecrated species and doubts about the real presence.

They used to do that here, also (and may still do so). If that was the reason, it didn’t really help. I remember one of my daughters, several of the children in her group (including her 😦 ) still made faces.

Can’t say I’m really in favor (or against) the practice.
I don’t see a real problem with the practice. I had a rehersal for my marriage ceremony, and there was no concern about confusing the rehersal with the real marriage ceremony.

For my RCIA rites, I wish they had done a practice run. Instead, everyone was kind of floundering around in front of the congregation not knowing what to do.
They did this in the RCIA when I joined the Church, but they do not do it in my parish where I am an RCIA team member. I see no problem with the practice. It is a good way to train people how to receive the Eucharist reverently, and it may relieve some apprehension resulting from not knowing what to do. People know full well that they are practicing with unconsecrated hosts, so I don’t think it is a source of confusion.

On the other hand, I would never, ever want to have a practice for going to Confession :D.

I see people are discussing present days First Communion and RCIA practices. It’s my feeling that ‘practice communion’ has been observed for ____? As to personal knowledge, we did so 65 years ago, although at that time it was host only. Sister told us it was not concecrated, so Jesus was not present. It is used to learn the proper manner of taking communion. I can understand the giving a taste of wine so it is not a first time experience.

Kotton 🙂
David Ancell:
On the other hand, I would never, ever want to have a practice for going to Confession :D.
Talking about practice Confessions, about 25 years ago, a priest friend of mine told me about explaining Confession to a First Communion class that was preparing to make their first Confession. Like all good teachers, he included examples they might consider (but obviously he didn’t consider the age of the children he was talking to). Among his examples were things such as murder and adultery. Later, one young boy came to him and made his confession.

“Fathter, forgive me, I have sinned. This is my first confession. I have committed murder. I have committed adultery. I have robbed a bank.”

I taught the 1st Communion class at CCE this year. In previous years, they practiced with unconsecrated hosts. This year the DRE decided not to do that since she felt the kids were not clearly understanding the difference. So we practiced with crackers. This was fine with me because they made a lot of crumbs and we made a big deal about not leaving particles on their hands (if they received in the hand).

We don’t practice with real wine. Too much fear of complaints. We just use water and tell the kids to ask their parents about the wine. Each child can choose one or both species. Last year there were several “faces” but none that I saw this year.
In my RCIA class, the rehearsal for communion was very explicit. The priest held up the unconsecrated host and said, “This is NOT the body of Christ.” I think the run was helpful for the entire class, so they knew what to do during the Easter Vigil Mass, instead of floundering around.

Of course, it was all adults. It may be different with kids.
I taught the 1st Communion class at CCE this year. In previous years, they practiced with unconsecrated hosts. This year the DRE decided not to do that since she felt the kids were not clearly understanding the difference.
I do not know what CCE and DRE mean. If there is a problem it should be blamed on those that teach the first communion classes. It should be made clear to those doing the practice that what was being done was only a rehearsal and that there is no consecrated hosts involved.

If one was taught properly when trans-substantiation takes place, there should be no problems.
My son’s 1st communion group did this also. I see nothing wrong with it. Especially since it was part of a whole day’s retreat before the ceremony. The sacredness was definitely stressed & a permission slip was required from the parents re:the wine.


CCE is religious educaion class(CCD in some places)
DRE = Director of Religious Education
wendy could probably use a little more UNconsecrated wine… 👍
I believe it’s a good thing for children to practice with unconsecrated hosts. It ought to be part of a thorough explanation of the change/transubstantiation that does occur at consecration. The children ought to know that the accidents remain the same, but the Presence is there. For purposes of receiving with reverence and care not to drop or remove or break the Consecrated Host, I think practicing with a real host is good. And my concern with children receiving the Precious Blood is not faces so much as the more grave possibility of spilling from the chalice or the mouth!
As I sat down with my daughter on that day I asked one of the candidates “Are you excited about today?” His response was “Why, we already did this on Thursday?”. Parents MUST take the time to educate their children, WE are the primary educators and we cannot rely on someone else to do the teaching. Hopefully what I said to the candidate sitting next to my daughter helped him realize the difference. I think their are pro’s and con’s but this practice can be dangerous if parents don’t step up to the plate and do their part.
Very good point, and as in everything: parents are the first educators, and should not abdicate their responsibililty to teach the Faith thinking that the school is doing it for them! Unfortunately, I think so many parents these days are just as in~the~dark as their kids!
I was duped, I think, by a book which discussed priests who married and abandoned their celibacy. It claimed that in seminaries priests learned the Mass in rooms full of little miniature altars…toys purpose built.

I don’t think this ever happened…I think it’s made up.What do others think ?What actually happens…do you go to a real altar to learn Mass, just as a server does ?
In connection with the above, have people ever come across how Maria Montessori during the pontificate of John XXIII built a children’s chapel where little boys vested as miniature celebrants “played” at the Mass! Now how orthodox was that…check out photos in a book "The Child and the Church " if you think I’m making t h i s up.
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