First Communion

Select a Date and Time to Register


To register, you will need the following:
1. Child's full name, current address, and date and place of birth
2. Parents' full names (including mother's maiden name)
3. Date and place of child's baptism
4. Copy of baptismal certificate (if not baptized at St. Rose or St. Agnes)
5. Number of guests who will attend First Communion Mass

St. Agnes, Middleton

Saturday, May 6, 2023

May 6, 11:00 AM

May 6, 1:00 PM


St. Rose of Lima, Topsfield

Saturday, May 20, 2023

May 20, 11:00 AM

May 20, 1:00 PM


How long will First Communion be?
First Communion Masses will be about an hour long. After Mass, you will probably want some time for pictures.

More Information

First Communicants are required to attend one of the following First Communion Rehearsals before their First Communion Mass. A parent must attend rehearsal with their child. Families can attend rehearsal at either location regardless of where their child will receive First Communion.

  • St. Agnes:
    • Thursday, April 6, 4:30-5:30 PM
    • Thursday, April 13, 5:30-6:30 PM
  • St. Rose:
    • Thursday, May 18, 5:00-6:00 PM

This is the most frequently asked question :)

Short Answer:

  • If First Communion starts at 11:00, families typically leave the church by 12:15.
  • If First Communion starts at 1:00, families typically leave the church by 2:15.


Long Answer:

First Communion Masses are regular weekday Masses. Most weekday Masses are 30-60 minutes long, but the length depends on how many people are there to receive Communion and how long the priest speaks during his homily. First Communion Masses are usually 45-60 minutes long, but do depend on those two factors. After Mass, you will probably want some time for pictures. You should probably plan to be at the church for about an hour and 15 minutes after the start of your First Communion Mass.

  • First Communicants must arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of Mass
    • Volunteers: All children who volunteered for a specific role during Mass must arrive 45 minutes before the start of Mass.
  • Kids will gather in the hall and process into the church together.
  • Due to earlier Mass times, guests (including parents and immediate family) will not be able to get into the church more than 30 minutes before Mass. Guests should stay outside until an usher seats them in their family's pew.
  • Each child will have 1 pew. You can comfortably seat about 6-8 people in each pew. 
  • If you have two or more children receiving First Communion at the same Mass, you will have one pew/child.
  • Additional friends and family may sit in the overflow seating in the church hall on a first-come basis.

We want children to look nice for this special day, without being uncomfortable in or distracted by their clothing. Dress code for First Communion is "Sunday Best" for all in attendance.

Traditional Attire:


  • White dress
  • Veil
  • Dress shoes
  • Gloves may be worn to the church, but must be removed before getting in the communion line.


  • White or solid, neutral-colored suit
  • Tie
  • Dress shoes

If children have rosary beads, purses, bibles, or gifts with them, please be sure they put them down before getting in line to receive communion. Our priests will be happy to bless any special items (jewelry, rosary beads, bibles, etc.) after Mass.

  • To maintain reverence in the church, we ask that guests refrain from taking pictures during Mass.
  • A photographer will be present at all Masses to take photos of your child receiving Communion. She will also be available to take photos after Mass. Please submit your order form to Photography by Corinna before First Communion.
  • You may NOT bring/hire another photographer to photograph the First Communion Mass.

Masses at St. Rose will be live-streamed for loved ones to watch at home.
Unfortunately, St. Agnes does not have the ability to live-stream.

We invite you to practice receiving communion with your child at home, either with an "invisible host" or using crackers, cookies, candy, popcorn or something else. Children will receive communion before everyone else and return to their seats before others get in line.

Watch this video together before practicing: 

How to Receive:

  • Kids will be sitting with their families during Mass. They will sit in the seat closest to the center aisle. When entering the communion line and approaching the priest, children keep their hands folded in prayer.
  • When children are next in line, they bow as a sign of reverence.
  • When at the priest, children will place their dominant hand under their other hand and create a throne for Jesus. Their "throne" should be flat enough that there is a place for the priest to place the Eucharist, but not so flat that the Eucharist may fall out of their hands. 
  • The priest will hold up the host and say "The Body of Christ." 
  • Communicants respond, "Amen" and then the priest places the host in their hands. 
  • With their dominant (bottom) hand, children reach into their top hand, pick up the host, and place it in their mouths immediately.
  • After receiving, while still standing in front of the priest, kids should make the Sign of the Cross.
  • Children will return to their seats with their hands folded in prayer. They will walk around the outside of the pews back to their family.
  • When back in their seats, they should kneel on the end closest to the outer aisle, so they are not climbing over other family members. After all children receive Communion, the rest of those gathered will be invited to come forward to receive Holy Communion or a blessing. 

Please remind kids that this is their special day and they are allowed to take as much time as they need to remember all the steps when they get up to the priest - they do not need to rush.

Before First Communion, kids must memorize four basic Catholic prayers:

  • Our Father
  • Hail Mary
  • Glory Be
  • Act of Contrition

They will be quizzed on these prayers during the month of April. Keep practicing them at home! You can find the words to these prayers at

Children are required to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before receiving First Holy Communion. First Reconciliation retreats will be held on the following days:

  • March 18, 11:00-1:00 at St. Agnes
  • March 25, 11:00-1:00 at St. Rose


Families do not need to sign up for First Reconciliation, but should make sure they sign in when they arrive.

Children can attend either retreat, regardless of which parish they belong to.

One parent must attend the full Reconciliation retreat with their child.

Videos to help your child prepare:

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