How to Decorate the Church for the First Holy Communion

Written by samantha kemp
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How to Decorate the Church for the First Holy Communion
Add decorations to the church to commemorate FirstHoly Communion. (Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images)

First Holy Communion is an important religious tradition in the Catholic faith. It symbolises the first time a parishioner will partake in the Sacrament of the Eucharist by eating the bread and drinking the wine that serves as a symbol of Christ´s sacrifice of his body and blood. During a First Communion ceremony, it is important to commemorate the event with appropriate decorations that honour the Church and the parishioner´s commitment to the Catholic faith.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tulle or ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Flowers
  • Pew bow clips
  • Felt

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  1. 1

    Make bows to decorate the church pews. Cut two pieces of fabric or ribbon 3-yards long. Tie one piece like you would tie shoelaces. Form a bow. Pull at the ends to make them even. Wrap the other piece of fabric or ribbon around the bow´s knot. Adjust the ribbon so that the lengths are equal. These are your ribbon rails. Cut the ends of the tails at an angle if desired. Add flowers or greenery to the centre of the bows to add an elegant touch. Attach the bows to pew bow clips. Hang from the pews.

  2. 2

    Add flowers by the altar. Place the flowers in white baskets on the ground near the altar or in standing planters. Catholic churches usually restrict flowers being placed on the altar table, so keep them on a lower level. Make sure the flowers match the season and the religious traditions around that holiday. For example, purple flowers are appropriate if the First Communion ceremony is during the season of advent. Yellow and green flowers are better suited for a First Communion ceremony around Easter. White is a symbol of purity and is always appropriate to use for First Communion ceremonies.

  3. 3

    Make a banner. Place a large piece of felt on a wall-hanging rod. Add pictures or cut-out shapes of the Communion chalice and bread. Add a picture of a Bible or cross. Write a scripture about Communion at the top of the banner. Hang the banner on a church wall that parishioners will see as they enter the church. As an alternative, hang the banner on the lectern so parishioners will see the banner as they listen to the scripture reader.

  4. 4

    Add white fabric to the front of the altar if permitted. Swag the fabric from one end to the other. Decorate the chair where the priest sits with fabric or a white throw.

  5. 5

    Organise a meeting with all of the people who will receive First Communion. Make a notice board or drawing that will be displayed on the wall church members see as they first enter the church. Have each person who is receiving his First Communion sign his name or make a drawing for the notice board.

  6. 6

    Review your work. Church decorations should not be ornate and lavish, but rather simple accents. If any decorative item is obstructing a religious symbol, move the item. First Communion is a religious service, so the emphasis should be on the church itself.

Tips and warnings

  • Ask the church secretary for decorations. Many churches will provide the use of planters or flowers for free.
  • Ask the church officials about any rules pertaining to decorations before you decorate the church. Many churches have stringent rules that forbid adding certain elements to the church or especially the altar.

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