This post is intended to answer some of those practical questions about first communion that often arise this time of year. While I am doing my best in this letter to answer the most common questions, I am always happy to speak with you individually – feel free to call (332-0064) or e-mail if you have any questions or concerns that are not addressed here! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
TIMES AND PLACES
Our First Solemn Communion Mass will be held Saturday morning, May 1, beginning at 10 a.m. at the STA church. The children will need to be in the same classrooms where they meet for the retreat by 9:30 a.m. that morning.
The Mass is planned with the children in mind and lasts just over an hour. Following Mass, photographs are taken in the Chapel. While the line appears long, it moves very quickly and the photographs are generally completed by 11:45. (The photographer and all her equipment are long gone by noon!) for this reason we caution families not to leave the church. Children have missed having their picture taken in this way.
Parents desiring an individual first communion for their child in place of (or in addition to) the Solemn First Communion celebration should give me a call. I can help you arrange either a simple or a personalized celebration at any regularly scheduled Sunday or weekday Mass. PLEASE LET US KNOW IMMEDIATELY IF YOUR CHILD WILL NOT BE AT THE SOLEMN FIRST COMMUNION MASS ON MAY 1.
Usually most boys wear a jacket, vest or sweater. Some come in a shirt and tie. Feel free to make your own decision on this. Girls usually wear a veil – or an elaborate hair decoration such as flowers or ribbons. Please remember that girls are not to wear gloves or carry purses. (If received as gifts, these can always be used for events afterwards.)
We have a good selection of suits, jackets and lovely white dresses in our office that may be borrowed. Please feel free to take advantage of this.
Children from other countries are encouraged to wear their native dress for the celebration; this makes our procession even more beautiful and helps to celebrate the wonderful diversity in our parish! Of course this clothing does not need to be white.
As discussed at the parent meetings, children will practice receiving the host on the tongue and in the hand. We do not encourage one way or the other of receiving, but simply make sure the children are clear about their decision so there will be no errors.
This year the Precious Blood will also be offered at the Solemn First Communion Mass, however, just as at any Mass, it is up to each communicant to decide to receive it or not. Children will receive the host where everyone can see, in the sanctuary, and will have the opportunity to receive the Precious Blood down closer to the pews as they leave the sanctuary. We will practice with the children how to receive from the cup, but we will not give them wine. We strongly recommend that if you expect the child to receive from the cup that you practice at home – or at least give them a taste of wine. Otherwise, it is likely they may make a face, or worse.
If you have a priest or deacon in your family who would like to join in our celebration he is more than welcome to do so. Please call and let us know, however, so we can make appropriate plans.
All older brothers and sisters of first communicants who are trained servers are welcome to participate in our Mass in that role. We will need parents or older siblings to serve as Eucharistic Ministers. I am looking for parents who might be interested in serving as greeters and ushers. Please call 332-0064 to volunteer.
I hope this is somewhat helpful! Feel free to call with questions!
P.S. Please get your “intention” forms for photographs and order forms for videos/DVDs in to us as soon as possible!