Preparation for First Reconciliation & First Communion

Children in the St. Veronica customarily celebrate the Sacraments of Reconciliation (Confession) and Communion for the first time around the age of 7 or 8 – which is normally when the child is in second grade. As a general rule, however, children should celebrate these sacraments when they are best prepared to do so, regardless of their age or grade level.

It is the policy of the Archdiocese of San Francisco that children celebrate Reconciliation before First Communion.

Sacrament Preparation Policy


To begin preparation for First Reconciliation and First Communion,

  • The child must be baptized.
  • The child must be in 2nd grade or older.
  • He/she must also be enrolled in a Catholic school or a religious education program.
  • At least one parent must be a practicing Catholic who is registered in a local parish.

The most important criteria for a child’s preparation is the religious environment in the child’s home and the family’s participation in the spiritual and sacramental life of the Catholic faith community. Parents should be providing a nurturing environment for Catholic faith and values and should be actively participating in their child’s faith formation.

Click here to download a checklist of expectations about the family’s participation in the Catholic faith community.

“We seek to form adults who actively cultivate a lively baptismal and Eucharistic spirituality with a powerful sense of mission and apostolate. Nourished by word, sacrament and communal life, they will witness and share the Gospel in their homes, neighborhoods, places of work, and centers of culture.”

- stated in Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us

First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation for children in 2nd grade:

Preparation for each of these sacraments will occur both in the school or religious education classroom and in the home. What happens in class only enhances what families are doing at home.

To learn more about their role in a child’s preparation for these Sacraments, parents attend a Parent Information Meeting for both Reconciliation and First Communion.

At the Parent Meeting parents will see the student textbook that the child will use in the school or RE classroom. He/she will write in it and keep it. (Children who attended the summer religious education classes or have chosen the home-schooling option for religious education will do all the preparation at home.) Parents receive a support materials which will help them prepare for the sacrament with their child. A prayer booklet will also be provided to be used at home. There is a $25 fee for First Reconciliation preparation and a $25 fee for First Communion preparation. Fees cover the textbook materials, parent support materials, retreats, and celebration expenses.

Sacrament Preparation for children and youth in grades 3-8 (P.R.E.P.):

Children who are in grades 3-8 may prepare for Reconciliation and Eucharist by enrolling in the Catholic school or religious education program and participating in immediate preparation classes through P.R.E.P. (Penance/Reconciliation & Eucharist Preparation). A parent information meeting is held in October. Preparation for First Reconciliation is done in November/December. A parent information meeting will be held in January/February; preparation classes for First Communion are in March.

Learn more about the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Love the Lord your God with your whole heart. – Deuteronomy 6:3-9

Sacrament of Reconciliation