John 6:56 – "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him"
Frequently called "communion", the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. In the Church, the transformed bread and wine are truly the Body and Blood of Christ, and are not merely symbols.
First Holy Communion is typically received in third grade. In order to receive First Holy Communion, a child must first have been Baptized in the Catholic Church or another
valid Christian denomination recognized by the Church. They must also have received the Sacrament of First Reconciliation (Confession).
According to the United States Conference for Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the guidelines for those eligible to receive Communion are as follows:
" In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession
except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all."
Non-Catholics are not permitted to receive the Eucharist.