First Reconciliation — Is My Child Ready?

Children wishing to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist must be baptized in the Catholic faith. If they are not, please contact Judith Brusseau right away at 202-908-2807.

Please click here to see a full list of requirements, important deadlines and registration information.

How do I know if my child is ready to prepare to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation?
Consider these general guidelines to determine if your child is ready to prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation:

  • My child knows when he or she has done something wrong.
  • My child shows sorrow for wrongdoing and seeks forgiveness.
  • My child is beginning to acknowledge the consequences of his or her actions.
  • My child knows that God loves each of us and forgives us when we sin.

What is the most important thing I can do to help prepare my child to celebrate First Reconciliation?
Every time we teach a child to understand the difference between right and wrong, we are helping form his or her moral conscience. Every time we explain the difference between loving and unloving actions, we are preparing our children to choose that which is good. Each time we forgive or ask forgiveness of others, we help our children trust God’s mercy and forgiveness. In ordinary family life, such opportunities occur almost every day. The family guide Together: Preparing at Home for First Reconciliation will prepare you and guide you to have such conversations with your child. The opportunities for discussion will help your child develop a sense of what is right and good and help him or her prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

How can I help my child realize the importance of this time of preparation for the sacraments?
Make a commitment to participate fully in all the elements of sacramental preparation that we offer. Ask other family members to take part as well. The special one-on-one time that you will spend with your child on this journey reaps a life time of grace for your child (and you!). It also speaks to your child of the importance you place on his or her faith development.