Receiving the sacrament of First Holy Communion is an important rite of passage in your daughter’s life. Like any special event, there are many things that need to get done before the big day.
The months, weeks, and days before your daughter’s Communion are spent getting spiritually, mentally, and physically prepared. In addition to making sure your daughter understands the significance of receiving the Lord for the first time, you’ll need to fulfill other important duties—such as purchasing a dress and booking a venue.
While the sacrament of Holy Communion is typically celebrated in the spring, preparation needs to begin months in advance. The extra time gives you enough buffer space to handle the unavoidable glitch or two.
The following is a checklist of what to get done now so that the last weeks and days before your daughter’s Communion can be a little less hectic and focused on reflecting on the meaning of the sacrament.
1. The Dress
The dress is the main attraction at any girl’s First Communion (besides Jesus, of course). While most churches require the dress to be white, other details are usually left to the discretion of the parents. From selecting the style—simple to elaborate, to deciding on the details—cap sleeves or long sleeves, intricate beading or plain, there are many things to consider.
When choosing your daughter’s Communion dress take into consideration her personality and comfort. If she’s not used to wearing long dresses opt for a tea-length or one that hits just below the knee. Choose a fabric she’ll be comfortable wearing. You don’t want her to be fidgeting throughout the mass.
When should you order the dress? Keep in mind that certain dresses may be special order items that require extra processing time; this can be anywhere from a few days to several weeks before shipping. Don’t forget time for the alterations! We suggest ordering the dress about three months in advance.
Ordering your dress ahead of time is good for several reasons:
2. Veils, Headpieces & Accessories
There are many ways to accessorize your daughter’s Communion dress to make it unique and special. The veil or headpiece provides that all important finishing touch. You can go with the traditional veil or opt for a clip, pins, combs, headband, tiara, or specialty barrette.
Other accessories to consider include shoes, gloves, and a purse. Have your daughter try the accessories early so she can get used to wearing them. Try out a few hairstyles in advance, too. You don’t want to learn the morning of that your daughter’s hair won’t hold a curl!
Many parents opt to gift family and friends attending their daughter’s Communion with a special party favor. These favors are a way to thank everyone for taking part in the special occasion and to give them a keepsake of the day. Depending on your budget, you can find meaningful gifts starting at a few dollars and up. Consider the following popular favor ideas:
4. A Meaningful Gift
On this joyous occasion, parents may want to give their daughter a special gift in honor of her spiritual milestone. There are many religious-themed gifts that your daughter will cherish for years and may even choose to one day pass down to her daughter. The following make meaningful gifts:
5. Prayers and Books to Read in Preparation
In preparation for receiving First Holy Communion, your daughter has been (or will be) taking religious education classes. While these classes are a useful way to teach children about the fundamentals, it’s important for parents to supplement what their kids are learning with some at-home instruction.
Invest in a book on Bible stories or a book of prayers for children. Spend some time before bed reading to them and discussing the importance of the Catholic faith.
6. Celebrate Your First Communion!
Whether you’re planning on having a small get-together at your home or a formal sit-down dinner at a restaurant, give yourself ample time to make necessary preparations and reservations. If you have a favorite venue you’d like to use, call in advance to book the day and time you want. Take lots of pictures and create a wonderful memory! You only go through this one time. God Bless.
Do you have any tips to share with other parents on how they can make their child’s First Communion a stress-free and meaningful celebration?
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