µarch 26, 2012
Solemnity of the Annunciation
RE: Readings on the Age of First Holy Communion
My dear brother priests:
In response to your request for assistance on the pastoral matter of determining the age for the reception of First Holy Communion for children, I am enclosing with this letter some selected readings from church laws, church tradition, statements from some officials of the Holy See and the Popes on the said issue.
The general disposition of the Holy See is that First Communion must not be delayed and that as soon as the age of reason is reached the child must be prepared for First Communion. The age of reason is generally understood as seven years old. Considering that child education begins at six years old in kindergarten, let us consider starting catechesis earlier as well, before our children are taken over by secularism.
I entrust these reading materials to you for your pastoral consideration. Let us allow the children to go to the Lord and do not hinder them.
Thank you for your fraternal attention.
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
The Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan
(Central Pangasinan, Philippines)