Parishes throughout the country are preparing children to receive their First Communion in the next few months. Here are some suggestions on how parents can help connect and prepare their child who will be receiving the greatest of gifts.

1. Go to Mass as a family. Make the next few months special by helping your child see how important Sunday Mass is to your family. Spend time on Sundays talking about the Scripture readings.

2. Have parents go over the lessons they are covering related to the Sacrament of the Eucharist (and the Mass). At my parish parents receive a book (this year we are using Loyola Press’ First Euchairst Book) which consists of 7 chapters and a handout with each chapter. Parents are instructed to sit down with their child and cover the chapters and complete the worksheet. We encourage them to make it a special time for their child and to show enthusiasm as they cover the material.

3. Make visits to the Blessed Sacrament. It is very important to foster your love for the Eucharist by taking the time to visit Jesus who is really present in the tabernacle. If your parish has Eucharistic Adoration, be sure to take your child their for some time of prayer and help him/her come to know Jesus and love being in His presence.

4 . Parents – share how God is working in your life. Show your child that you have a personal relationship/friendship with Jesus that affects your whole life.

5. Pray. Gather as a family to pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. Pray with your child for a open heart as they prepare for their First Communion. Show your child that your prayer life is an important part of following Jesus.