When children come of age in the Catholic Church, they receive first Holy Communion. Celebrating this event traditionally meant that families gathered in the home for a party. Mothers, aunts and grandmothers cooked for the event. Today, this type of celebration can occur in other venues, including party centres and function halls.
In the past, families celebrated their child's First Communion with parties and festivities at home. Today, a favourite restaurant is often the scene of a family celebration. Many restaurants have special sections or rooms to reserve for special occasions such as First Holy Communion. Some restaurants allow decorations; others do not.
Function halls are another option. Inquire about catering options, decorating and entertainment when making reservations for the special day. Some function halls provide everything required; others give a list of local caterers and entertainers. Function halls accommodate medium and large-size family gatherings.
Out of the Ordinary
To give a child a celebration that highlights the specialness of the moment is the ultimate in party planning. If the child has a particular interest, for instance, dinosaurs, a trip to a natural history museum is a possibility. Many museums now have programs designed for entertaining groups of children. Local businesses, such as ice cream or ceramic shops, are often open to entertaining children's parties with do-it-yourself activities that children of Communion age can enjoy.
For the Roman Catholic child, First Holy Communion is a milestone within her spiritual life. Gathering everyone together at the home of a godparent, grandparent or favourite relative is still an option many choose. Everyone brings a favourite dish to share, providing an inexpensive way to party. In some parishes, the church hall serves as a gathering place for the communicants and their families. Family and friends often bring potluck here, too.
For families who love to be at the beach or under the pines, a family gathering at a local park is an informal option. Many state parks have areas designated for family barbecues. Some even offer presentations by park rangers on the history or special sites in the park. Celebrating with extended family and friends after First Holy Communion is a time-honoured tradition children anticipate greatly no matter where it takes place.