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Catholic Dictionary

Term

COMMUNION OF CHILDREN

Definition

In ancient times in Eastern Churches children received Communion immediately after baptism; in the West little children received only when dying. The Fourth Lateran Council (in 1215) and the Council of Trent (1551) laid the precept of Easter Communion and Viaticum on children after attaining the years of discretion. After years of neglect of this legislation, St. Pius X prescribed frequent Communion, also for children (1905) and restored early Communion along with the sacrament of penance on reaching the age of reason (1910).