For the past eight years I have been part of the folk group that sings at the noon Mass at St. Casimir Church. One member of our group is a mom of twins, who will turn eight at the end of this month, and who will receive their First Holy Communion at Mass today.
I remember encouraging this overwhelmed mom to bring the boys to church when they were babies and then toddlers. I remember helping other singers create “baby barricades” with chairs, the organ bench, and guitar cases to help corral the boys in the choir area.
I remember when they learned to pray the Lord’s Prayer. It was adorable.
As the boys grew, we’d hear more and more singing coming from the back row. They knew all the acclamations long before they could read. And we’d hear catechesis happening–the kind I hope goes on in any pew where children are present. We’d hear a mom gently reminding her sons to pay attention, to look at Father, to notice the important moments in Mass. We’d watch her patiently shepherd her boys through the Communion line with her, where they would stand quietly while she reverently received the Eucharist.
Today it’s their turn. Today they won’t be sitting in the back row of the choir, but up front, looking handsome with fresh haircuts and stylish ties. Today we will sing “This Bread That We Share” as these boys will approach the altar for the very first time to receive the Eucharist.
I love that at this parish, First Communion is celebrated during Sunday Masses, so that the whole community gets to be there to celebrate along with the children who have been waiting in the pews for seven or eight years to join the rest of the assembly in the sacrament.
Congratulations to our friends (the twins) and to their parents who have been very dedicated to raising them well. Congratulations to all the First Communicants!