There are a number of steps you can take to ensure that your child’s First Communion date is a memorable one that will live long in the memory.
Instead of spending a fortune on something for your child - the emergence of the Celtic Phoenix has been greatly exaggerated - opt for something that involves the child’s cousins and friends.
It is also important to keep a significant focus on what the day is about, the receiving of the sacrament of First Holy Communion.
Local curate, Fr Paddy Byrne gives some food for thought in a blog by him on First Communion. He hopes that the events in the county are joyful ones, when families gather to celebrate and give thanks.
He notes also the amount of effort and preparation from the parish and school is given to these young candidates.
In modern times, he says he finds himself questioning the role of First Communion.
“Is it something that enriches the life of the parish community or perhaps highlights the huge disconnect many families have from faith practice and sacramental worship?” he asks.
Priests, and teachers, helping to prepare you children for First Communion strongly emphasise the significant and important role that parents and family play.
In his blog, Fr Paddy says: “‘Faith is caught, more so than taught.’ If faith practice is not happening at home, it certainly will not happen to any candidate who receives a warm invitation to become a full member of their local faith community”.
He urges all the family, and in particular the parent(s) and family to all play their part.
“Now is the time to ‘get real’ in how we prepare our young people for the sacraments,” he says, adding that 95% of parents Baptise their children and 20% practice their faith frequently.
While there is much happening around the First Communion Day, it is important to keep the main focus on the sacrament of First Communion. It is also important to organise events afterwards which can be enjoyed by all the family,
However, avoid peer pressure and don’t get sucked into a competitive situation on what is being done by others to mark the occasion. A get-together with family and friends, with a simple outing or modest entertainment will be just as enjoyable for the child.
Remember it is a day to remember for all the family, most notable those receiving the sacrament of First Communion.