Sunday, May 12, 2013

First Communion Hypocrisy

Have you ever noticed how parishes act for a kid's First Communion?

The kids have to dress up. The girls wear veils. I've never seen any of them receive in the hand because it's the only time of the year when the parish breaks out kneelers or makes use of their altar rail (assuming it has one). You even have special decorations and maybe even a reception for everyone when Mass is over. Of course, the kids have to go to confession, but that's sort of part of the general procedure here in the West anyway.

For one shining time in the child's life, they treat the Mass as what it is. It's all downhill from there. Sure, the measure of time it takes for the decay to set in varies. The clothes change is typically immediate. It's back to jeans and t-shirts (if their parents are particularly pious; otherwise, it might be way worse). A mantilla is never seen again.

The Eucharist is eventually received as a matter of course, rather than as a matter of salvation. There are teenagers getting ready for Confirmation who haven't been to confession since their First Communion. All reverence decomposes until nobody can really recall why they made such a big deal of it the first time around anyway.

Until it's time for their kids.

Then they think of how cute Dick and Jane will look in their nice clothes and how sweet the pictures will be when they kneel for, what is now, the afterthought of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of God Himself.

I'm not saying this is the case for everyone, but seeing kids I know will continue in the their reverence for the Eucharist reminded me of how the vast majority do not and who come to Mass only interested in the fact that they are now one week closer to being old enough to never return again.

Like everything else with the Church, we've turned so much into a production that the reason for everything has been forgotten. The shallow experience of snapping some pictures for the album has replaced the awe surrounding the encounter with Christ in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And the people are content.

What a revolting development.


Anonymous said...

Our parish is quite strict and requires the all white outfits for first holy communion and confirmation[done at age 14].the boys have to wear white suits and ties and white shoes and the girls for first communion have to wear the communion dress,veil,gloves,tights and patent leather shoes.For confirmation,its the same outfit for the boys,the girls have to wear the poofy,floor length dress with the veil,gloves,tights and white 'mary jane'shoes.our parish considers the communion dress and confirmation dress as an extension of the baptism gown the girls were baptized in as infants,so to symbolize the purity of their baptisms,the girls are required to wear infant type under garments under both dresses.the under garments consist of a white cloth diaper,plastic pants and under shirt.the diaper and plastic pants is worn under the tights just like when the girls were baptized as babies.My daughter is 14 and was just confirmed this past may and had to wear the full outfit.

Rachel Matteson said...

This is so true and is actually happening everywhere. Well, the Holy Communion is a special occasion for Catholic children to start accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The relationship that they are to build with Christ though is up to them but since they are still so young to think about it, their parents should guide them to build that lasting relationship. :)

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 13 and making her First communion on may 15th and has to the cloth diaper and rubberpants under her dress per the parish dress code!To make matters worse the rubberpants have to be toddler size!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous-Our daughter just went thru confirmation[age 16,10th grade] and per the parish dress code all the girls had to wear a white,poofy,short sleeve,floor length dress with a veil,gloves,lace anklets and white "mary jane" shoes and a white tee shirt with a cloth diaper and plastic pants under their dresses.The daughter looked very nice in her dress and veil,but felt weird with the diaper and plastic pants under her dress.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous-My neice finially made her First Holy Communion at age 14 in a small town parish in Iowa with the 7 year olds.Per the dress code,the neice and all of the other little girls,had to wear a poofy,top of the knees,short sleeve,communion dress with a tie under the chin infant style bonnet,lace anklets and the white mary jane shoes.Under their dresses they had to wear a cloth diaper and rubberpants[plastic pants] and a white tee shirt as their top.The neice was told that she had to wear the same toddler size rubberpants over her diaper like the little girls had to wear.Her parents got her the Dappi brand rubberpants in the xxl size and they fit snug over her diaper.She wasnt happy about having to wear the bonnet and the diaper and rubberpants and told me she felt like a baby.