Confirmation of Children at 1st Holy Communion

For more than 20 years the Catholic Church in Maine has followed the "restored order" of celebrating the initiation sacraments with children: Baptism as an infant (newborn to age 6) with Confirmation and first Holy Communion in the same Mass around what Canon Law defines as "the age of reason" (typically ages 7 to 12).

  • This practice echoes what happened in the early Christian Church and mirrors the holistic formation process outlined in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, sometimes referred to as the "catechumenate." 
  • Click to read a short article explaining why the Diocese of Portland continues to confirm children at the time they receive their first holy Communion.
  • Go to the end of this page to watch short videos about Restored or Original Order of Initiation Sacraments.


Current Diocesan Guidelines

The Diocese of Portland Guidelines to Prepare Children for the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Eucharist were approved and published in June 2015.  The guidelines establish a two-year preparation process for all children preparing to receive Penance, Confirmation and First Eucharist which includes the involvement of their parents/guardians.  Below you will find a link to these guidelines.  A variety of resources to support parish leaders in the implementation of this policy have been prepared by the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation and the Sacrament Guideline Committee.

Bishop's Letter

Communicating with parents / guardians

Sacrament Preparation - Year 1

  • Who do you say that I am?
  • Handout for Who do you say that I am?
  • Bible in a Nutshell: Scripture
  • The Power of the Sacraments
  • Do this in Memory of Me:  Encounter Jesus in the Eucharist
  • Hello!  Can you Hear Me Now? Prayer
  • I am The Way, Come Follow Me: Following Jesus as a Family

Sacrament Preparation - Year 2

  • Forgiving One Another
  • Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation
  • The Holy Spirit and You
  • Sacrament of Confirmation
  • Jesus, the Bread of Life
  • Celebrating the Eucharist

Resources and Articles  

Resources for Sacrament Preparation, including: Sacrament Preparation Program for Parishes • Confirmation Preparation for Teens • Resources for Parent Formation • Resources for Children with Disabilities • Video Resources for Children • Supplemental Resources for Families • Suggested Books