I never wanted to be one of those parents who sent their kid to something just because they were a certain age. We are Catholic and in our diocese and our parish, it is considered a given that second graders receive their First Holy Communion. As a parent, this has been on my mind for the last year, because our oldest is considered to be starting second grade this fall.
My spouse and I have been discussing with our child and evaluating readiness for this sacrament and for that of Penance (also called Confession or Reconcilliation). I have recently decided that we had better wait another year. She has the technical knowledge that is desired before taking such a step, but not the level of maturity. One friend pointed out that Sacraments come with their own graces and perhaps one should give the benefit of the doubt. (Catholics believe that we receive Jesus in Holy Communion – that the Eucharist is really the Body, Blood, Soul, & Divinity of Jesus Christ and not just a symbol. So, this is truly a big step in our faith.)
For all Christians out there – not just the Catholics – how do you determine when a child is ready for a big step in your faith? Whether it be Confirmation, Communion, or Baptism (for those who do not practice infant-baptisms)?