My First Communion

In the spirit of Confession Friday (which I learned about thanks to the The Word Worm), I’ve decided to offer you some really great (read: the worst ever) pictures of my existence. In fact, if you enjoy them…let me know. I’m not short on “classy” photos of my chubby childhood. I could make this a fun Friday thing.

My First Communion

Allow me to explain to non Catholics the basics of First Communion. In the 2nd grade, Catholic children, who’ve been guilted by their mothers since birth, make this right of passage into the church. This is when they start accepting communion (Jesus) into their bodies.

Second grade was a really awkward time for me. Apparently, even though I had attended first grade CCD, 2nd grade was too full and Mom couldn’t enroll me in the class. They told her that I could make my communion next year. Obviously, my very Catholic mother would have none of that. Soooo, she pulled a trick that only a woman in my family could pull. She pitched seven fits until the Director of CCD and Father Valente had to do something.

They gave my mom the second grade CCD student and teacher books, and she “home-schooled” my religious education in the 2nd grade. Once a week, or every couple of weeks, we would sit down and go through the lessons in the book. Some weeks we would cover several lessons, other weeks just one lesson. Either way, this felt like a torturous experience for a severely awkward seven-year-old who really just wanted to go play with her friends.

When it came time for Communion preparation, I had to do it all on my own (I mean, my parents were there and all–but no kids. No classmates. No peers.) So, the second grade teacher had made a cassette tape of the songs we would sing at the Communion Mass, that I practiced with. Mom and Dad took me to my First Confession. Mom and her best friend, Kathy, took me to get my First Communion dress. I got to pick out the dress and a veil.  That part, I loved.

Then came Communion practice. My first interaction with the other second graders. I knew some from school, and some from the previous year, but mostly they were strangers to me. To make an awkward child even more angsty, Mom informed me that I was not allowed to touch Jesus. This meant that while my peers would be taking the Communion into their hands, I would be taking it into my mouth. During practice, I was to test this out. I was so nervous and embarrassed for myself that I couldn’t see straight. The catechist running the practice looked at me a little funny when I didn’t have my hand reached out, because that’s not what he had explained…but he caught on quickly. Later, this would become, in my head, something kinda neat that I did during mass, and I was proud of it…but at the time, it was so embarrassing.

Finally, the day of my Communion arrived. I barely remember the actual day. I know that I was there. I know that I made it through. I remember the priest who offered me Communion had an impressed look upon his face when he did not see my hands reaching toward him, but my open mouth. I remember that there was a party, and that was fun.

Mom made me stand like that…



A pretty white dress and flowers, but I look anything but thrilled to be there…

I took the liberty of attempting that surly look in my present… here’s what came out.


Grrr Baby. Grrr.

And so now, my godson is on the cusp of his second grade year. About to make his First Communion. My mom actually taught him 1st grade CCD this summer so that he could sign up to be in the second grade class. He seems excited and interested.  I think he’ll be a lot less awkward than his Auntie Chrissy. Thank God.



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  1. OMG I think we had the same communion veil!

  2. Faith H. says:

    I didnt make my first communion untill i was 11 years old and it was a disaster! First,my parish,St.Jeromes,was very strict and required the full communion outfit for us girls.They considered the communion dress as an extension of the baptism outfit we were baptized in as babies,so as part of the requirements,we had to wear a cloth diaper and plastic pants[rubberpants[ under our tights with an under shirt,this was to remind us of the purity of our baptisms.My mom got the largest size pair of the rubberpants she could find,which were toddler size and made my diaper from sewing baby diapers together to make one diaper.Then,secondly,the rubberpants fit tight over the diaper and the leg openings were digging into my leg joints and causing me pain.Thirdly,it was warm that sunday in may and i was sweating some in my outfit and the diaper,rubberpants and tights didnt help matters.Fourth,at my party,after all the photos were taken,and i was in misery,mom took me to my room and took the diaper off of me and rubbed calamine lotion on the red rings from the leg openings of the rubberpants.She then pulled the rubberpants back up and told me i had to wear them the rest of the day.They felt a little better not having the diaper on under them,but i could still feel the plastic next to my skin.Lastly,when i took my outfit off before bedtime,my butt and hips were all broken out in a red rash from the re-applied the lotion and in the morning the rash was mostly gone,but the two red rings around my leg joints lasted for over a week before they went away!

    • That is all sorts of horrifying and embarrassing! I can’t even imagine. Why would they DO that to you?!

    • To Faith H.-I finially made my First Holy Communion at 14 and it was just as bad as yours was! We had to wear a poofy,top of the knees,short sleeve communion dress and the veil,with lace socks and white ‘mary jane’ style shoes.Like your parish,our communion dresses were considered an extension of our baptism outfits,so we had to wear rubberpants and a tee shirt under our dresses! My mom got the adult size small,white rubberpants from a website and my tee shirt at Kohls.I had babypowder inside the rubberpants and also on the outside as mom said it would help keep them soft.I felt a little weird and embarrassed walking down the aisle with the 7 year olds! At my party,several of my female cousins and a couple of my friends lifted up the front of my dress to check out the rubberpants.I also got a mild rash from them and at bedtime mom rubbed lotion on the rash.

      • Oh my god! 🙁

      • amanda j. says:

        To Faith and Clarice- I had it even worse! I did my First Communion at 14 and lived in a small town in north central Iowa.Our required outfit was a short sleeve,poofy,top of the knees,communion dress with a tie under the chin bonnet,lace anklets and white mary jane shoes and a tee shirt,cloth diaper and rubberpants under our dress! My bonnet had to be made for me and i had to wear the same toddler size rubberpants the little girls had to wear over their diaper! I felt weird and enbarrassed walking down the aisle and every knew i had the diaper and rubberpants on under my dress!


  1. […] love sharing wish sharing circle. Oh and they hand fed the oplatki into your mouth, just like communion. (Click that if you’ve never read about my First Communion. Seriously. Go. I’ll […]

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