Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ray's First Holy Communion

" I am the living bread that came down from heaven.
Whoever eats of this bread will live forever."
John 6:51

On Saturday evening we enjoyed a wonderful celebration of Ray's First Holy Communion! It's truly awesome to see how grown up he is and what reverence and joy he had as he finally was able to share fully in the Eucharist. We are very proud of him.

He looked so much like a mini-Jon in his spiffy suit!

Jon surprised me with a beautiful corsage! At the last minute I put a jacket on Adam. He loved it and wore it all evening. He called it his cape.

Posing with Mamaw before Mass
Ray was so serious about keeping his hands folded the whole time.

We luckily were assigned to sit in the front row!
We had a great view to see him receive Communion.
I was too emotional to care that his shirt was hanging out in the back.


Although it was a chilly and very overcast day, there were two points during the Mass -- just after the Consecration and after Communion -- when brilliant rays of sun shone through the big rose window behind the altar. It was a beautiful sign of the Holy Spirit's presence among us!

Posing for a picture with Fr. Schmit
After Mass we were thrilled to host a big houseful of family and friends for a grand celebration. Although I didn't get many pictures of our guests, we are so thankful that so many loved ones were able to join us. Jon's mom ended up not being up for the long trip down from Michigan and we were disappointed about that. However, two of his sisters and their families did come down and it was awesome to have them with us. My dad and Mary were here and were so helpful with setting things up and doing some last minute cleaning and preparation. My fantastic mom helped me plan and prepare the food. My sisters were great about getting the house opened up and the food set out.
The Menu:
Ham Slices
Roasted Potatoes
Macaroni and Cheese
Roasted Asparagus
Vegetable Tray
Pickles and Olives
Dinner Rolls
Fruit Salad
Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad
Jello Jigglers
Cake and Ice Cream
I borrowed beautiful 3-gallon drink dispensers for water, lemonade, and iced tea.
Sorry.... no pictures of the food. I guess I was too busy enjoying the food and the company! I will say that it ended up being a delicious and easy meal.
I love this picture of Ray (and a friend) relaxing and enjoying the evening.
He ran in and changed into tennis shoes after Mass.
Several weeks ago Ray and I decided it would be neat to do our annual backyard May Crowning after his First Communion Mass. He had definite ideas about how he wanted to do it and it was so cute to see him lead the other children in prayer.
We had all of the children choose a flower and gather around our Mary garden.
Following Ray's directions, we said three Hail Mary's.... he stepped forward one stone for each prayer.

Ray crowned Mary and then we all sang one verse of "Immaculate Mary." Then all of the children took turns placing their flowers in the vases around the Mary statue.

Since it was Mother's Day weekend, we crowned our Mother in heaven and then gave flowers to each of our moms as well.

Ray received so many very special gifts for his First Communion. We are in awe of the generosity of our family and friends.
This special First Communion set came from Grandma Ryzenga.

A beautiful statue of Jesus from Ray's Godparents

My dad gave Ray the Rosary that belonged to HIS dad, who was also named Ray.
This is such a special treasure!
Nothing is sweeter than seeing these sweet children celebrating their faith together!

Our party favors, which Ray was thrilled to give our guests as they left.
Prayer at a Child's
First Communion
Lord Jesus Christ, in the Sacrament of
the Eucharist You left us the outstanding
manifestation of your limitless love for us.
Thank You for giving Ray the
opportunity to experience this love
in receiving the Sacrament for the first time.
May your Eucharistic presence keep him
        ever free from sin, fortified in faith,
pervaded by love for God and neighbor,
and fruitful in virtue, that he may
continue to receive You throughout life and
attain final union with You at death. Amen.

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