Skip to content

News / News

| News

First Communions

First Communions in most parishes involve seven-year olds, who are prepared all year for this most incredible moment when they receive Jesus for the first time. Anyone involved in teaching young children knows what a beautiful experience this can be for the children.

Even with the fuss made by family over the dress or suit, the parties and pictures, God takes over and the children understand in ways deeper than intellectual the awesome gift they are receiving.

My parish had their First Communion on a beautiful Saturday morning in May. Thirty-five girls and boys did wonderfully. They sang, prayed, read the readings of the Mass and the intentions. Most importantly, they walked quietly to the altar and received the Body of Christ. It is a moment of grace for anyone present in the Church.

It is the custom in this parish to invite the children back the next day, Sunday, to participate in Mass wearing their First Communion clothes again. This time they sit with their families around the Church. At the end of Mass two of the children came forward to crown the statue of the Blessed Mother next to the altar. A little boy carried the crown and the little girl placed it on the head of the statue. This was all practiced and rehearsed.

As the choir of older children sang, “O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the angels, Queen of the May,” all the other First Communicants spontaneously came from all over the Church where they were seated and gathered around the statue. They stood in front of Mary and sang to her.

The Congregation probably assumed that this was also practiced and rehearsed. However, those involved knew it was entirely a movement of the children themselves. Grace took over. Mary called to her children and they came to her.

Mary appeared to three children in Fatima and to a young girl in Lourdes. Millions flock to these sites. Perhaps we need to attend to our own children and see how Mary is calling them and let the wonder of it transform us all.

Article first published by the Rhode Island Catholic