First Communion Memories and Stories Contest

Now that the vacation is over, Lisa and I are both gearing up for First Communion Season. Both of us have daughters making this big Sacrament at the end of April.

Reflecting on it, this is a pretty big deal. This is their first major celebration sacrament since their infant baptism. Reconciliation isn’t really a “celebration” sacrament; the preparation, undertaking, and sharing of that sacrament is intensely personal. First Communion is an opportunity for the entire family – personal and church – to welcome a new member into Communion or being One with Christ. I forget the source, but I had someone explain coming to the Eucharist to me as our approaching not the church altar, but the table at the Last Supper. Christ is present and we come to Him. I think on that when I step from the aisle to go forward.

My youngest daughter is very impatiently waiting for her First Communion. While she’s still mildly unnerved at the thought of eating Christ’s Body, she’s sees being allowed to receive Communion as a tangible sign of her growing up. Having an older sister who receives Communion and Altar Serves at Mass, my younger one is frustrated with being the youngest and having to approach the Eucharistic Minister with crossed arms.

Lisa and I both received emails about this really cute First Communion Stories Contest sponsored by Aquinas & More. From now until March 31 (next Wednesday) they’re inviting you to submit a story based on a true and positive memory about you or your child’s First Communion. Come back to the site during the month of April to vote on the stories and winners will be announced on May 3. First prize is a First Communion Dress or a $100 gift certificate.

The offer of a First Communion dress prize made me think about my own dress. When I made my First Communion in 1978, the dresses were shockingly short. Our shoulders were covered, but our bare knees stood out. My veil, a mess of tulle scrunched onto a too-tight, ear-pinching headband with a long piece of my mother’s original veil laid over it, draped far below the hem of my dress.

When I shopped for my older daughter’s dress, we had no trouble finding one of sufficient tea or floor length. However, we had trouble finding one with sleeves that covered her shoulders, so many dresses used spaghetti straps or were sleeveless. I’m sorry that Lisa and I don’t live closer so that we could more easily shop for our daughters’ dresses together.

Do you have a fun or interesting memory about First Communion? Consider sharing your story.


Shelly Henley Kelly