Budding flowers and humming birds are some of the first harbingers of spring. So, too, are young Christian children dressed in white as they embark on the next step in their spiritual journeys.
The sacrament of Holy Communion was instituted by Jesus Christ during his Last Supper. It marks the first time children (or adults) receive the Eucharist during mass. One of the sacraments of initiation, Holy Communion is a momentous occasion in the lives of young or converted Christians.
Holy Communion is rife with tradition. Prayer, preparation and the sacrament of reconciliation figure prominently as Christians prepare to receive the Eucharist for the first time. Children often wear white to signify purity, and families host parties after the church service has ended. Although many customs help unify those receiving the Eucharist, there are ways to personalize the precedings to make them more unique.
- Something borrowed: Buying a communion gown or suit is customary, but one way to set the day apart is to have children wear clothing passed down by parents or other relatives. This links the generations and solidifies that familial connection through the Church. Families also can gift a treasured prayer book or rosary beads.
- Special touches: If relatives cannot gift an entire communion ensemble, incorporate other attire into the communicant’s wardrobe. Consider altering a wedding veil for a young girl, or tuck a piece of wedding gown lace into a young man’s pocket in place of a pocket square. Children also can wear jewelry that bears some spiritual or sentimental value, such as a crucifix necklace or family ring.
- Pray together: Family members can put together a prayer book that includes favorite Bible passages or hymns that resonate with them. This way children can carry on the tradition of sharing these special verses with others.
- Make it cross-denominational: Share the occasion with others who may not be of the same faith so they also have a chance to be part of such an important and memorable sacrament. Holy Communion is a great time to bring everyone together in celebration, regardless of their religious beliefs.
- Involve children: Include communicants in the planning. He or she may ask that a particular meal be served or request that others share their own Holy Communion experiences.
Holy Communion is a special time in a Christian’s life, entitling him or her to more fully participate in his or her faith and draw closer to God.