As I think I have mentioned before, Toughie was in classes for his First Communion this year. The Mass was on Saturday, and everything went wonderfully. I was a puddle of goo watching him at the altar rail, receiving Communion for the first time, and we all enjoyed a lovely luncheon afterwards.
The day before, the Pastor of our church spoke to the kids about how important this day is to the Faithful. He used as an example the Emperor Napoleon. Apparently, he was asked on his deathbed what he considered the best day of his life. Was it when he conquered this kingdom or that kingdom? When he won this or that battle? No, he replied, the best day of his life was the first time he received Holy Communion. (Not to be cynical, but it was pretty clear his life was kind of on the downhill by the time he was on his deathbed.) Either way, it’s a good example of how important this moment should be.
Do kids “get it” that this is such a monumental milestone? I don’t think I did when I was his age. That’s probably why other denominations don’t put quite the emphasis on the First Communion that we do, nor do they insist it happen at such a young age. But that’s not why we do it now. They get it now so that they “get” that it’s important and because the mere act of getting it helps them to “get it” more as they get older. I hope that makes sense. It makes sense to me. I just… get it.
Here’s to the spiritual feast– may we always find abundance in ourselves and in each other.