Monday, May 9, 2011

Ways of Saying Yes at First Communion

A companion piece to last Friday: My niece's first communion went very well. The parish had I don't know, 3 dozen kids receiving their first communion. And it was their third first communion of the season -- I know, wow, right? Talk about thriving.

The liturgy had some wonderful touches. During the eucharistic prayer, they had all the children gather around the altar with the celebrant. I don't know if it was the number of people staring at them or the fact that they were all dressed so nicely, but the children were remarkably collected. And their presence up there struck me as a wonderful image for the congregation of what's happening, the children's further entrance into the community and Jesus at the center.  Really neat.

And then after everyone had received communion, the children came up to the front, stood before the congregation, and sang a song about marching with God (complete with gestures!). In some quarters that might sound sappy, but it functioned as a children's acclamation -- a response of joy to the gift that had been offered to them this day. Having gone through the whole process toward first communion, and then finally receiving it, to give them a moment to publicly celebrate that -- it's a very fine idea, and a great model for the congregation, too!

I'll be back to Matthew later this week.  But it's always nice to share the creative practices of good parishes.

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