First Communion Program

First Communion Preparation Program for 2023-2024

First Grade or First Year Students complete their assigned DRE level one lessons. They also learn the basic prayers and the Mass responses from the Catechism of the Heart. At Sunday Mass, children may come forward with their family to receive a blessing instead of Holy Communion. Their active participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each Sunday will prepare them for the day when they can receive Our Lord in the Eucharist.

Second Grade or Second Year Students complete their assigned DRE level two lessons. They also learn their Confession prayers and master all the Mass responses from the Catechism of the Heart. There are parent-student meetings in the fall and in the spring to prepare for these two sacraments. First Confessions are usually celebrated during Advent, and First Communions are usually celebrated during Easter time.

As we transition into this new program for 2023-2024, those students who attended CGS or EFF in 2022-2023 are excused from the first-year DRE requirement. This is a one-year exception for the purpose of a smooth transition. New students to our program begin with the year one DRE requirement in 2023-2024.

To register for our parish First Communion program, please click here to sign up for our DRE courses in grades one and two.
Sacramental preparation is an integral part of DRE. CGS students also take DRE for their sacramental preparation.

In the first year of their sacramental studies, students should learn all their basic prayers and all the Mass responses.
At Sunday Mass, they should come up for a blessing at Communion time, with their hand held over their heart.

In the second year of their sacramental studies, students will be invited to our parent-student preparation meetings.
Students will receive a special commemorative cross from the parish as a remembrance of their First Communion.

Weekly attendance at Sunday Mass, and Confession during Advent and Lent, are core spiritual activities for Catholic Christians.
As students prepare to complete their sacraments of Christian Initiation, they should be practicing their faith fully each day.

For a pamphlet with the Mass responses, please click here. For a pamphlet with the Confession prayers, please click here.

In 2023-2024, we are in the second year of the national Eucharistic Revival. Please go to for more information about this important part of our spiritual renewal which reaffirms the centrality and the reality of the Eucharist in our lives as Catholic Christians.

Our online home study DRE course is a comprehensive eight-year religious education program that should be continued after First Communion in preparation for Confirmation. CGS students may take DRE at no additional cost. Please click here for more information about DRE at our parish.

Just like our two-year First Communion program, our Confirmation program consists of two years as well. Please click here for information about our Confirmation preparation program. The sacraments are received when the students are prepared, and not at any particular age or grade level.

Finally, for the Catechism of the Heart, please click here, and for our parish Continuing Religious Education programs, please click here. Religious education does not conclude with Communion and Confirmation. It only really begins then! Please click here for more information.

Saint Dennis Church is looking upward in faith, moving forward in hope, and leading onward in love to new life in Christ. As a faith community of prayer, learning, and service, we invite you to join us as intentional disciples of Christ. For more information, please check out the many spiritual resources provided at the website. Together, let us embrace faithful Catholic Christian lifestyles for the new apostolic age of church history.