It is my most earnest wish to consider those children who yearn for First Communion, so we have planned a selection of choices to permit them to receive this life-giving sacrament as soon as possible. The children were always so excited and could hardly wait whenever I discussed the Eucharist with them in class. The times demand we surrender some of our ideas about what a perfect First Communion should look like, especially those which have little to do with the spiritual importance of the sacrament. My personal belief is that things will not be “back to normal” for a long time. It is certainly futile to plan for “normal” reception of the sacraments before the end of this liturgical year, the First Sunday of Advent, the date established by our bishop as the deadline for reception of the 2020 sacraments.
Participating in the group celebrations is, of course, entirely voluntary. We are planning the ceremonies to be beautiful and safe, according to the careful guidelines of the diocese which will be in effect during the latter part of June.
If coming into church isn’t within your comfort zone, listening on speakers, social distancing and receiving Holy Communion in car or outside in the prayer garden on that day is also a possibility.
We have already begun the high-volume beach traffic weekends - not a good time for parish sacramental celebrations, which is one reason we’d like to complete these celebrations before the end of June and during the week. There is also the possibility that restrictions on church and outdoor assemblies may become more stringent as time passes, even impossible again.
Families can certainly postpone the celebration of this important event and plan to receive Eucharist during any regular mass - Sunday or weekday. Reservations need to be taken and the same limitations on number of family members in a pew will apply at a parish mass as for the June ceremonies. Outdoor, prayer garden communion for individual families who attended mass by listening to that mass via loudspeaker or watched it streaming is also feasible.
We're trying to be as flexible as possible, yet get the Holy Eucharist to our children as quickly as possible.