URGENT! Make a gift that will be doubled. We have $9,701 left to match by December 1st.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

FIRST COMMUNION

The precept of the Church that requires children to receive Holy Communion, along with the sacrament of penance, on reaching the age of reason. First issued by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215), the practice was all but discontinued for centuries, due to the inroads of Jansenism. Pope St. Pius X restored the practice and restated the precept, while he also explained how necessarily related are the two sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. "The age of discretion," he said, "both for confession and for Holy Communion is the time when a child begins to reason." This means that "a full and perfect knowledge of Christian doctrine is not necessary either for first confession or first Communion." Moreover, "the obligation of the precept of confession and Communion which binds the child particularly affects those who have charge of him, namely, parents, confessor, teachers, and the pastor" (Quam Singulari, August 8, 1910).

See Also: SANCTUS PONTIFEX

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Art and theology, beauty and truth, work together in the New Evangelization November 21
Anatomy of Conversion November 21
Anatomy of Conversion November 21
It is a failure of mercy to deny sin November 20
Yesterday's news, tomorrow November 20

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days