How to Create a First Holy Communion Social Story for Your Child, by Anne Jones

Social stories are a great tool to introduce a new experience to a child using a story format that includes personalized images and child-friendly, encouraging language. Social stories are especially useful to help children who might struggle with anxiety surrounding new experiences and could benefit from learning what to expect ahead of time. They are also helpful for setting behavioral expectations, so your child knows how he/she needs to act in a situation. Finally, social stories are a good starting point to prompt further questions your child may have about the upcoming experience and to consider how/when your child might need support during that time. Creating a custom First Holy Communion social story can be a wonderful aid for your child during the celebration of the sacrament.

Social stories are meant to be read together with your child ahead of the experience and can be read as many times as your child needs. They work best if they are personalized with images of the people, places, and things that your child will encounter during the experience. The links below are documents that you can save to your Google Drive and customize to fit your child’s needs for either his/her own First Holy Communion or attending someone else’s First Holy Communion. It is my hope these documents will help your child feel more prepared and comfortable with a First Holy Communion, whether it be his/her own special day or that of a family member or friend.

Social Story for When Your Child is Attending Someone Else’s First Holy communion

When using this social story, customize it with familiar pictures (vs stock images) where ever possible to help prepare your child. It can be helpful to use pictures from sibling sacraments or the sacraments of other family members or children at the parish you’ll be attending. There are italicized portions in the story for inserting pictures as well as editing the text to best fit your needs. Feel free to edit other portions as needed too! You may want the following photos on hand to insert into the story:

  1. Image of the Eucharist (Precious Body and Blood)
  2. Image of the parish where the First Holy Communion will take place
  3. Image of the first communicant(s)’ outfits (or reference photos)
  4. Image of the outfit your child will wear to the First Holy Communion 
  5. Image(s) of family members/friends who are also planning to attend
  6. Image of your camera/phone for taking photos
  7. Image of party decorations/cake
  8. Image of you as the parent(s)
  9. Image of Jesus and/or Blessed Imelda Lambertini

Access this social story and save it to your Google Drive HERE.

Social Story for When Your Child is Preparing to Receive His or Her First Holy Communion

As with the story above, it may work best to customize this social story with pictures your child will recognize. There are italicized portions in the story for inserting pictures as well as editing the text to best fit your needs. Feel free to edit other portions as needed too! You may want the following photos on hand to insert into the story:

  1. Image of either your child’s First Holy Communion invitations or their learning materials/Bible
  2. Your child’s First Holy Communion outfit
  3. Image(s) of family members/friends who are planning to attend
  4. Your child’s banner if he/she made one; otherwise, an image of your parish or priest
  5. Image of Jesus
  6. Image of the Eucharist (Precious Body and Blood)
  7. Image of your child’s (or reference photo) of posture when receiving the Precious Body and, if receiving, the Precious Blood
  8. Image of your child (or reference photo) of kneeling (or sitting if unable to kneel) reverently in the pew
  9. Image of your camera/phone for taking photos
  10.  Image of the party decorations/cake
  11.  Image of you as the parent(s)

Access this social story and save it to your Google Drive HERE.

If you find these social stories beneficial, you may also like our customizable booklets that help children become comfortable participating in Mass, visiting a church, or attending religious education. You can view these free templates in our Shop.

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