|Title of host publication||The Sage Handbook of Children and Childhood Studies|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
Holy communion is a religious ritual that occurs for the first time in childhood in many Christian traditions around the world. Also known by the Greek term eucharist, which means thanksgiving, communion is considered a sacrament, or an event of key spiritual importance, in most Christian Churches. This entry explains why communion is relevant to childhood studies by examining some of the official and unofficial interpretations of the ritual, particularly within the Roman Catholic Church (the most populous Christian church). This entry further addresses the general religious significance of communion, changes in the purposes and meanings of the first communion, and how first communion acts as a symbol of the health of the Catholic Church and informs social status in Catholic communities.