Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Adam's First Communion Preparations

Adam is preparing to receive his First Holy Communion on May 10th.  We've been studying at home and working on a First Communion scrapbook. This past weekend was busy and grace-filled for Adam in his preparation process.
In Adam's Catechesis of the Good Shepherd class there are nine children who are all preparing for First Communion. His amazing teacher organized and led a beautiful retreat for these children at her home on Friday afternoon.

The children spent the afternoon praying and working on several activities. They planted plants, made candles, and baked bread. They reflected on Scripture passages and remembered their Baptisms.

They each individually renewed their Baptismal promises and received white garments.

They lit their candles and sang a beautiful song about the Light of Christ.

These are such beautiful and holy little ones. We are so privileged to know and grow with them.

Adam really enjoyed the retreat and got a lot out of it. Here are the items and work that Adam brought home ---

On Sunday morning we attended the First Communion of one of Adam's classmates, our friend Julia.
It was a lovely celebration. It was extra special for me as it was at St. Philip Church, where I worked for eight years and where Jon and I were married. I was flooded with memories of all the classes I prepared for First Communion. I prayed for all of those children (who are now grown) and really enjoyed visiting that wonderful community of faith.
Later that day, Adam and I attended his First Communion retreat at our own parish, Saint Matthew. This was also a great experience, completely different from Friday's retreat. We rotated to several stations throughout the afternoon.
Liturgical Bingo ----
This was really neat! The DRE made bingo cards with picture from our church, including our priests and deacons. I was impressed by how much Adam knew (and discouraged by how little so many of the parents knew).
Banner Making ---

All of the supplies were cut and ready for the children to assemble banners that will mark their pews on their First Communion day. Adam chose a palette of "blue on blue" and we enjoyed working together to make his banner. Check out the elaborate ribbon extensions on the bottom!

Recess ----

Can you spot Adam in this picture?

Should I be worried that this was his favorite part of the day? ;) It's fun for homeschool kids to get to run around with 8,000 peers on one small playground. And, yes, he was the only child wearing a suit coat to the retreat. He refused to change after Mass. He calls it his "cape."

Story Time ---

"The Caterpillar Who Came to Church"

Bread Making ---

Table Prayer Song ---

At the end of the retreat the parents prayed a special blessing prayer for the children and then the children performed the "Table Prayer Song" with hand motions.

Adam had practiced with a video online, but was still nervous to be on stage. He thought he was being tricky and got at the very back of the line of kids as they went on stage. He thought they would put him in the back. However, they ran out of space and stuck him here ----

...right in front. He did a great job, though! I was very proud of him.
This week in religion Adam is working with our Mass kit and practicing the names of the various vessels and other items used at Mass.

Ray helped him out this morning.

These weeks leading up to First Communion are so sweet and special. We'll continue reading, studying, working on the scrapbook, and preparing for the celebration. Most of all, we'll be praying for and with Adam. It can be easy to get wrapped up in preparations for a big day. But the reality is that Jesus is inviting Adam to come to the altar and receive Him not just once, but over and over again throughout his life. Eucharist is such an important part of our Catholic Faith and our family life. I want Adam to understand and appreciate what a great and awesome Gift the Body and Blood of Jesus will be in his life. Please join me in praying for Adam during these special days.

Finally, on a lighter note..... Preparing a boy for First Communion is so much less fun than preparing a girl. No frilly dress, white shoes, veil. We have a suit that Carter and Ray both wore for their First Communions. A few weeks ago I had Adam try it on. He looked in the mirror, squinched up his face, and said, "Well, it's OK, but I really would like to have a light blue suit." I explained to him that light blue suits really aren't in style now. He told me he doesn't care about fashion. ;) Can't you just picture him in a light blue leisure suit with a frilly shirt and cummerbund? We did find him a sort-of-light-blue tie.  He will be quite handsome!

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