The history of First Communion in the Catholic Church can be traced back to the Last Supper, when Jesus shared the first Eucharist with his disciples. However, the practice of children receiving their First Communion in a formal ceremony did not develop until much later.
In the early days of the Church, children were generally not allowed to receive Communion until they had reached the age of reason (around 7 years old) and had undergone a period of preparation and instruction. This was because it was believed that children needed to have a basic understanding of the faith and the meaning of the sacrament before they could receive it.
The formal practice of children receiving their First Communion in a special ceremony began to develop in the Middle Ages, around the 12th century. At this time, children were required to fast for three days before receiving their First Communion, and the ceremony often involved elaborate processions and rituals.
In the 16th century, the Council of Trent established guidelines for the sacraments, including the Eucharist, which further established the practice of children receiving their First Communion at a young age after a period of instruction and preparation.
Today, First Communion is an important sacrament in the Catholic Church, and children usually receive it around the age of 7 or 8 after a period of preparation and instruction. The ceremony is often marked by special Masses and celebrations with family and friends.