On a slightly more serious note, what do you call a kid who goes to his first communion?

Surely not a communist, right?

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    Communion initiate. – Blessed Geek May 12 '14 at 9:05

No -- but perhaps a communionist? :-)

Actually, according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Communion , the term is first communicant.

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    +1 someone who partakes in the holy communion is a communicant. – oerkelens May 12 '14 at 9:09
  • -1 That wiki entry does not seem to have the word communionist. Check other sources instead. – Kris May 12 '14 at 10:15
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    @Kris - Try reading my post again -- carefully this time, without rushing through the first two lines. (Oh, wait -- there are only two lines.) – Erik Kowal May 12 '14 at 12:38
  • Wouldn't "new communicant" be better? I would take first communicant to be the first person doing communion, not a person taking communion for the first time. – Taemyr May 12 '14 at 12:47
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    It's a part of Catholic jargon. It doesn't matter if your version is "better". – nomen May 12 '14 at 12:54

The one who attends communion is known as communicant. source--http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/communicant?s=t

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    Hence the answer is as is already given here – mplungjan May 12 '14 at 9:22
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    I am a slow typist ;) – Pooja Raja May 12 '14 at 9:29
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    In this case, proper etiquette is to remove your answer. – TylerH May 12 '14 at 18:19
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    @TylerH: since when? The two answers are not identical, and fastest <> best. In my book, this answer is actually better, since it gives a link to an authoritative dictionary, rather than to Wikipedia. – Marthaª May 12 '14 at 23:41
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    @Marthaª Since StackExchange was a thing. And the answers are identical; they are both essentially link-only answers that direct the OP to the definition of communicant. Also, dictionary.com is hardly more authoritative than Wikipedia. On StackExchange sites, it's poor etiquette to provide the same answer as someone else if they've answered before you. In the event that you both answer at the same time, then you should delete your answer. – TylerH May 13 '14 at 6:26

Since this is an English language stack exchange, I'll answer from the linguistic perspective.

Both have their etymological root in the same concept of bringing things together. Whether you are commuting to work (joining your workplace), a communist (joining a social community), or entering into a religious communion (joining with a church, and supposedly with its mythological deity).

The noun for someone who enters into religious communion is communicant.


The three sacraments of Initiation

  • baptism
  • confirmation
  • communion

Of the three, Communion is the only one that is received repeatedly. The first communion is the initiation to the sacrament of Communion. And the child is the initiate to the sacrament.

  • 1
    I guess +Kowal is more correct, in addressing the child as first communicant. – Blessed Geek May 12 '14 at 9:12
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    Which three sacraments of what 'Initiation'? I believe the RC Church holds that there are 7 sacraments. Biblically, one finds 2, unless 'baptisms' is subdivided and/or marriage, layings on of hands to confer office ... are similarly labelled. – Edwin Ashworth May 12 '14 at 9:17
  • They are similarly labelled. I don't remember the details, but they're easy to look up. – nomen May 12 '14 at 12:55
  • These are Catholic sacraments, note; other religions parse differently. – John Lawler May 12 '14 at 15:24

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