More importantly than the dress is the reason for this occasion, which is the children receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the very first time. I think it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and lose focus on the reason. That being said, I admit that I am loving getting the chance to pick out a First Communion dress for her. I want it to be something really special for a REALLY special day. It is almost like picking out a wedding dress.
Besides our local Catholic book store, which I will most definitely check out-- I really love supporting that business because it is so nice to have a Catholic store nearby-- I have found some online sources to be very helpful in comparing what the dress looks like. Nordstroms carries some nice dresses. I have picked two that I really like:
And this one:
We have plenty of time before making any choices, but this is such an exciting milestone for any Catholic as the next step in the faith journey and the second step to full initiation with the Church.
On Wednesday we have a meeting which will discuss all the details as far as what is required. The children need to attend classes specifically for learning all about the Eucharist and the importance of the Catholic belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I like how our children come fully into the Faith in stages, just how they grow into full understanding in stages.
The usual way a child is initiated into the Catholic Church is through Baptism, preferably shortly after birth but it can be anytime before age 7; the next step is receiving First Holy Communion at around second grade or age 8; and finally Confirmation which is conferred during the teens. The age of Confirmation varies depending on the rules of the Diocese in which they belong. For example, in our Diocese, Confirmation takes place in the Junior or Senior year of High School after two years of preparation.
So, it seems, my little princess is growing up. She will be able to receive Communion with us at Mass starting after her First Communion in May. I remember when she was a toddler, one time my husband was carrying her in his arms up to Communion. She was perplexed at why she didn't receive the Host when my husband did and I think maybe felt a little left out. She held her hands out but instead of receiving a Host, she was given the usual blessing, as would anyone Catholic or non-Catholic who isn't able to receive. The next Sunday, I think she must have thought to try a new tactic. When she got to the front of the line, she looked up sweetly, held out her hands and asked, "Please?" Which was very cute but still she received a blessing. Soon, very soon, she will receive Jesus in the Eucharist and all the graces that come along with that. We are very excited!