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(09-01-2009, 11:28 AM)spera Wrote: [ -> ]Seriously, I was just thinking about this this morning.

7 is the age of reason, but if a child expresses knowledge and understanding and wants to receive Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, can they not receive it? I might not know if it was right or wrong in origin, but didn't they used to give HC to babies? Why is 7 the age of reason?

In some Eastern Catholic Churches they still do first Communion as babies. They receive all the "rites of initiation" at the same time: baptism, holy communion, and confirmation (chrismation.) I remember attending a Melkite Catholic Churches for the Masses of my dead great-grandparents and my mother having to explain to  me why children younger than me were receiving Communion, but I couldn't. To be honest, I've never understood it.
(09-01-2009, 11:28 AM)spera Wrote: [ -> ]Seriously, I was just thinking about this this morning.

7 is the age of reason, but if a child expresses knowledge and understanding and wants to receive Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, can they not receive it? I might not know if it was right or wrong in origin, but didn't they used to give HC to babies? Why is 7 the age of reason?

7 isn't a magic number. It is just the most common.

It has to do with developmental issues. If you look at modern scientific scales of developtment, what we call the age of reason, just so happens to align with a significant change in the human's mind which allows them to see the word more or less as adults. Obviously, they aren't as smart as they are going to be, and they don't have experience, but a person who reaches this developmental stage, for most people 6-7, can make good and bad decisions and is culpable for their actions.

I'll try to find more data for you.
(09-01-2009, 12:01 PM)savienu Wrote: [ -> ]I remember attending a Melkite Catholic Churches for the Masses of my dead great-grandparents and my mother having to explain to  me why children younger than me were receiving Communion, but I couldn't. To be honest, I've never understood it.

The answer is easy: we are social beings, and the rules of the society bound us For us western people the reason is the primary, for the easterners the being. (this is my humble opinion: ready to learn otherwise)

Until the 20th Century the confirmation was provided at the early school years, and the first confession and communion at the end of the regular schooling. St Pius X reversed the sequence

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius10/p10quam.htm

ordering that

Quote:1. The age of discretion, both for Confession and for Holy Communion, is the time when a child begins to reason, that is about the seventh year, more or less. From that time on begins the obligation of fulfilling the precept of both Confession and Communion.

2. A full and perfect knowledge of Christian doctrine is not necessary either for First Confession or for First Communion. Afterwards, however, the child will be obliged to learn gradually the entire Catechism according to his ability.

3. The knowledge of religion which is required in a child in order to be properly prepared to receive First Communion is such that he will understand according to his capacity those Mysteries of faith which are necessary as a means of salvation (necessitate medii) and that he can distinguish between the Bread of the Eucharist and ordinary, material bread, and thus he may receive Holy Communion with a devotion becoming his years.

4. The obligation of the precept of Confession and Communion which binds the child particularly affects those who have him in charge, namely, parents, confessor, teachers and the pastor. It belongs to the father, or the person taking his place, and to the confessor, according to the Roman Catechism, to admit a child to his First Communion.

5. The pastor should announce and hold a General Communion of the children once a year or more often, and he should on these occasions admit not only the First Communicants but also others who have already approached the Holy Table with the above-mentioned consent of their parents or confessor. Some days of instruction and preparation should be previously given to both classes of children.

6. Those who have charge of the children should zealously see to it that after their First Communion these children frequently approach the Holy Table, even daily if possible, as Jesus Christ and Mother Church desire, and let this be done with a devotion becoming their age. They must also bear in mind that very grave duty which obliged them to have the children attend the public Catechism classes; if this is not done, then they must supply religious instruction in some other way.
(09-01-2009, 12:01 PM)savienu Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-01-2009, 11:28 AM)spera Wrote: [ -> ]Seriously, I was just thinking about this this morning.

7 is the age of reason, but if a child expresses knowledge and understanding and wants to receive Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, can they not receive it? I might not know if it was right or wrong in origin, but didn't they used to give HC to babies? Why is 7 the age of reason?

In some Eastern Catholic Churches they still do first Communion as babies. They receive all the "rites of initiation" at the same time: baptism, holy communion, and confirmation (chrismation.) I remember attending a Melkite Catholic Churches for the Masses of my dead great-grandparents and my mother having to explain to  me why children younger than me were receiving Communion, but I couldn't. To be honest, I've never understood it.


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04170b.htm

The "Official Stance"
(09-01-2009, 11:50 AM)ErinIsNice Wrote: [ -> ]
(08-31-2009, 06:25 AM)matthew_talbot Wrote: [ -> ]Age of reason usually not attained by a 6yo. There are exceptions (although this is overwhelmingly the norm) My daughter Brigid, was still shy of her 7th birthday when she first received Via an SSPX priest (although she went through formal instruction and had her first confession the day before).

My oldest was 6 1/2 when he made his first Holy Communion, and my second was only 5 1/2.  He was able to go through the catechism class, understand it, and pass the test, so he was allowed to receive.

The OP should see if his daughter can join the First Communion preparation classes.

I will, Danke
I remember a post on FE from last year where someone said he remembered doing first communion as a 6-year-old because their little country church needed enough altar boys.
Dear Dad,

My suggestion is to not make a big deal out of it because your daughter probably did it with the best of intentions.  Perhaps your parish does not teach young children or their parents that any person, young or old, not receiving Holy Communion may come forward to receive a blessing from the priest by crossing the arms left hand to right shoulder and right hand to left shoulder.  Try it, it works.  Practice this with your daughter and she will enjoy going forward for her special blessing.  It also teaches her Holy Communion and Confession are also special, but not for her at the present time.

I apologize for not referring to the Sacraments in a more reverential manner, but communicating to the child in a manner she can understand is much more important.
(09-02-2009, 03:03 PM)joepilgrim Wrote: [ -> ]Perhaps your parish does not teach young children or their parents that any person, young or old, not receiving Holy Communion may come forward to receive a blessing from the priest by crossing the arms left hand to right shoulder and right hand to left shoulder.  Try it, it works.  Practice this with your daughter and she will enjoy going forward for her special blessing.  It also teaches her Holy Communion and Confession are also special, but not for her at the present time.

Did you read the original post? She did, in fact, receive the blessing as she usually did and then opened her mouth and received Communion. :)
(09-02-2009, 02:02 PM)WhollyRoaminCatholic Wrote: [ -> ]I remember a post on FE from last year where someone said he remembered doing first communion as a 6-year-old because their little country church needed enough altar boys.
Feh. That isn't a reason for a child to start receiving. You can serve on the altar before your FHC. We once went to a parish where one of the main altar boys served for 3 years (from 4-7) before receiving FHC.
Little altar boys are cute.  Especially when their vestments fit correctly.
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