Catholic children ages 7 or 8 receive their First Holy Communion, commonly when they are in second grade. At this age, they are able to reason things out, but before they can receive communion, they must be baptised and receive the sacrament of reconciliation. The children must also have a confession before their First Communion. Traditionally, First Communion is followed by a party and a large family gathering.
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Gifts and Clothing
Children wear traditional clothing for their First Communion and will likely keep the clothing on for the party. Boys wear a dark suit and tie with a white shirt or a white suit. Girls wear a white dress and a veiled headdress with white gloves. Religious gifts such as rosaries, candles and prayer books are given at the party. There is sometimes a formal photography session at a studio or with a hired professional photographer.
The reception party can be a breakfast or lunch held for children at a hotel or restaurant. Invite family, friends and classmates. Sometimes the church hosts the event and invites all the celebrants and their families. Invitations can be personalised and decor can include doves, Bibles and crosses. A buffet is a good idea with disposable plastic crockery and cutlery. You can also hire someone to entertain the children. Chocolate and candles make great party flavours and you can personalise them by wrapping them in First Communion packaging. You should also consider thank you cards for everyone in attendance.
During a Communion party, children are dressed in delicate, expensive white clothes made of lace or satin. They can have their faces painted, play "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" or watch a magic show. Adults can organise themed events based on the children's favourite cartoon character and the children can play with a piñata. They may also sit around and draw caricatures or a you can hire a professional artist to make funny drawings of the guests. As a special ritual, you can light the child's baptism and First Communion candles and place them side by side.
Food items related to communion are always memorable. You can use a cake that looks like a chalice and host. The child gets his own host cake and feels very special. You can serve bread, wine, and fish fingers to emulate Jesus serving bread and fish to his followers. For children, grape juice is a good wine substitute. You can also serve cheese, which goes well with bread and wine. Since the party will have many children, you can opt to buy an ice cream cake so that you don't incur the extra cost of buying ice cream separately.
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