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John wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a baptized, confirmed Catholic but I never received my First Holy Communion. Now that I'm getting married, I need to show documentation that I have had all my sacraments.

  • Do I need this?
  • If so, what's needed for me to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion and how do I get any required documentation?

John

  { If I'm getting married but missed First Communion, do I need documentation and how do I get it? }

John replied:

Dear John,

Thanks for the question.

This seems a bit odd. Typically, you are confirmed by a bishop at a Mass and at that same Mass also receive the Eucharist as well.

It sounds like you might not have received your First Eucharist as a child but that doesn't mean a thing. Whenever you receive Holy Communion for the first time, is your First Communion.

  • Are you currently practicing your faith, attending Mass, and so forth?

John

John replied:

Yes!

I'm practicing my faith and attending Mass on a regular basis. The reason why I don't have an official record of my First Communion is because my family was in between churches at the time.

During my First Communion years, we attended an Episcopal church then when we went back to the Catholic Church.  I was older and my Dad just sent me on to be confirmed. I skipped my first Reconciliation and Communion.

John

John replied:

OK.

The most important thing is that you were confirmed, and it would follow that you should have also gone to the sacrament of Reconciliation before you were confirmed.

For marriage purposes, you need to get a copy of your Baptism and Confirmation certificates from those parishes.

As far as Confession and Communion are concerned, there is nothing stopping you from going to Confession. You're a baptized Catholic. I suggest you just go, and do so often, as we all should. There are no records for Confession. The seal of the confessional, forbids a priest from even saying you went to Confession, so if you've never been, talk to a priest and go.

Once you've got that out of the way, talk to a priest about receiving Holy Communion, unless, as a practice, you already do. If you are currently receiving Holy Communion without ever having gone to Confession, I'd cease until you get a first Confession out of the way.

John

John replied:

HI, John —

I did go to Confession before my Confirmation and have done so since but not as regularly as
I should.

I also receive Holy Communion every week at Mass.

— John

John replied:

OK,

So you are a confirmed Catholic who has, indeed, received all his Sacraments.

All you need is a Baptism and Confirmation certificate. You'll need to contact the parishes where your received those sacraments to get them.

If we can be of any other assistance, please don't hesitate to ask us.

John D.

John replied:

Sounds good!

Thank you very much for answering my unusual question.

I only hope the priest at the parish where I'm getting married sees it the same way and accepts that I don't have a First Communion certificate.

John

John replied:

John,

Baptism and Confirmation can only be received once. They are two out of the three Sacraments of Initiation and records and dates are kept for them.

First Communion is whenever you go up and receive Communion for the first time. Yes, we tend to make it a special day and have a special Mass for kids, but it's a sacrament that can be repeated, therefore it shouldn't be an issue.

Obviously, it's a matter of common sense.

  • If you were confirmed, you received Communion that same day with everyone else in the Church.
  • If you never received the Blessed Sacrament before then, that would have been your First Holy Communion.

Unless the priest is a complete doorknob, he ought to be able to figure that much out!

I've never heard of anyone having to produce a First Communion certificate in order to be married. In fact, if you produce a Confirmation certificate, it ought to suffice for everything because they wouldn't have confirmed you unless you were baptized.

John

Mary Ann replied:

John —

All you need is the name of the parish where you were baptized. That baptismal record has all the other information, because every parish sends sacramental information back to the parish of Baptism!

Mary Ann

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