The lead up to your child’s First Holy Communion is an exciting and enjoyable time, if not a slightly stressful one. You will want to ensure that you embrace this important time in their life and really make the most of it.
Thankfully, there are many First Holy Communion traditions that you and your family can get involved in to make your child’s experience even more special and memorable.
Make a First Communion craft
Most children love arts and crafts, and sitting down to create a First Holy Communion craft is a lovely way to engage their imagination and teach them about the processes involved in the ceremony. Why not try making a salt dough Eucharist or even creating your own First Holy Communion banner to hang in your home?
Choose their outfit together
Whether you have a boy or girl, letting them choose their First Holy Communion outfit will help them feel more excited about the day itself. Girls can choose the style of their Holy Communion Dress or pick their own accessories, whereas boys can get involved in choosing between a red sash and a red dated tie. Always make sure that the outfit you choose is Church appropriate; if in any doubt, speak to your priest before deciding.
Make the cake
If you are only having a small gathering after the ceremony, you may decide to make your First Holy Communion cake yourself. Letting your child help with this is a fun (and messy) way to include your child in the preparations of the day. Alternatively, you could choose to make individual cupcakes. This is an especially good idea if you have a lot of guests attending, and your child could help personalise those that are for immediate family members.
Organise a party
Most people choose to have a party or at least a social gathering after the First Holy Communion ceremony. Organising this event can include selecting the food, decorations and entertainment. Be sure to get your child involved as well so that they can feel that they have contributed to the occasion.
Have a First Holy Communion breakfast
On the big day itself, ensure that your child gets the best start to the day with a special First Holy Communion breakfast. This could involve purchasing special foods or laying out religious-themed tableware; it doesn’t really matter as long as you make a fuss of your child on this important occasion.
Purchase a memorable gift for your child
Of course, your child will receive many gifts after their First Holy Communion from relatives and friends alike, but an extra-special gift from mum and dad will always hold a special place in their heart and remind them of this special day forever. Popular choices include a bible with a personal message inscribed inside, a crucifix or a rosary.
Have dinner with your child’s godparents
As well as inviting your child’s godparents to the day itself, it can be nice to have an early dinner celebration with their godparents before the ceremony. Doing so gives your child and their godparents a chance to connect (this is especially beneficial if they do not see each other very often) and to discuss any concerns or fears that they may have about their First Holy Communion. Sometimes children do not want to worry their parents by expressing any concerns, but they may be happy to talk to their godparents who are specifically there to help with the religious aspects of their lives.
Hire a portrait photographer
Most parents want a tangible reminder of their child’s First Holy Communion and what better way to celebrate and remember this momentous occasion than with a family portrait. Try to find a photographer that has experience with these types of portraits as you want your photograph to be timeless and classic.
This tradition can be carried on through the generations; how amazing would it be for your child to be able to show their children the picture from their own First Holy Communion?
Recite a special prayer or poem
Another way to make your child feel special on the day of their First Holy Communion is to find or even write yourself, a First Holy Communion prayer or poem, explaining the significance of the Eucharist in their life.
Light your child’s Baptism candle
Hopefully, you still have your child’s baptism candle that was held by your child’s godparents at their baptism, and if you do, it can be a really sweet gesture to light this candle again on the evening of their First Holy Communion to mark this important day in your child’s life.
Whether you decide to embark on all of the above traditions or just pick the ones that are suited to your family; any way in which you can make your child feel special and prepared for their First Holy Communion should be celebrated and applauded.