The Catholic Church requires the communicants to be of the "age of reason," traditionally held to be at least 7 years. The child's parents and pastor judge whether the child knows right from wrong and understands the nature of the Holy Communion, or the Eucharist, before reception.
The Eucharist is one of the three sacraments of Christian initiation, and is considered the source and summit of Catholicism. A child's first communion is a major milestone in Catholic family life and the life of its parish. Girls wear white dresses and boys wear suits for the ceremony. Many parishes hire professional photographers to commemorate the event.