First Communion

Question(s) for Catholics and Non-Catholics alike. Myself and my entire side of the family is Non-Denominational and my wife and here entire side of the family is Catholic along with our kids.

I’m wondering how I and my family fit into my children’s first communion, if we do at all? Do I bother even inviting my side of the family? Do I just invite them to the house and not to Mass? I know that myself and my family are starting to struggle with how to handle this as my oldest gets closer to first communion. Her family is much larger than mine ( I have 1 sibling and she has 4) and in all cases the siblings significant other is Catholic, so my fam is pretty outnumbered.

Has anyone else gone through a situation such as this, if so, how was it handled / what did you do?

Everyone is welcome at Mass. If the extended family is happy for the child, they should come to the Church and then you can have whatever family celebration that you want, inviting as many people as you want.
Inviting non-Catholics often answers many of their questions.

PS: just remind everyone that the Catholic church reserves reception of Communion for practicing Catholics in a state of grace.

Thank-you for the reply. We all know how communion in the Catholic church works, the real hang up going on is how my family can’t be part of it as well. Wondering if anyone has ever gone through that type of situation.

I think one other hang up is how much more religious my family is compared to hers and how they (myself included) can’t partake in our children’s religious achievements even though they probably mean way more to my family than hers.

Maybe this doesn’t make sense, I just think this may be awkward and not sure how to handle it.

What do you mean by “being part of it?”
Don’t they pray? We invite all people to come together in prayer and praise.
How would they not be a part of that?

First Holy Communion is not a religious achievement. It’s a milestone in the spiritual life of the person. It’s the first time they partake of the Body & Blood of Christ. It’s a very personal yet public step in their relationship with Christ.
We celebrate it. Even those who are not blood relations to the children. Everyone present, from the priest, to the choir, to the people just attending a Sunday liturgy and find themselves at a First Communion celebrate with joy and they certainly understand the importance of this great day.

Well, I think I can answer this question pretty well considering that I, my mother, and her whole side of the family is Catholic, whereas my father and his side of the family is mostly Jewish. When I had my First Communion, as well as my Confirmation, it was mostly my mother’s side who attended the Mass, but my paternal grandmother and a couple of my paternal uncles also attended in order to see me receive these two sacraments.

Therefore, definitely invite them, and it’s up to them to decide if they want to attend. But, as pianistclare mentioned above, make sure hat they know that only Catholics in the state of grace may receive Jesus in Holy Communion.

May God bless you and your family and guide you all to God’s Holy Catholic Church, as well as your daughter as she receives Jesus in the Holy Eucharist for the first time! :slight_smile:

Not sure why your whole post isn’t showing up, but I’d rather not argue semantics.

I have never been to a first communion, so I apologize if I don’t have all of the nuances or specific adjectives correct. As explained to me, this will be the first time that our son will be able to take communion, with family, and my family can’t be “part” of that. We are not welcome come forward.

I foresee that being awkward, and why I’m asking if anyone else has experienced the same situation, and if so how it went.

Nope. You didn’t exactly express what you meant the first time.
There are specific teachings that in the Catholic Church regard what Eucharist is.
We believe it to be the Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Christ. He is truly present.
Other denominations do not. Some teach that it’s a symbol or do not have validly ordained clergy who cannot confect the Eucharist.
You are welcome. Show up.
Many Catholics do not receive Communion each week. We are bound to receive once during the Easter season, but we do not have to receive weekly. For obvious reasons, most people do. But you will find many people staying in their pews and not coming forward to receive. No one thinks anything of it. You will not stand out, you will not feel awkward.
It’s really not to “exclude” it’s to make sure that people who receive are Catholic in good standing. Catholics who are not in a state of grace can’t receive either. No one is peering into their souls to criticize. We just pray for reconciliation. As well as we pray for unification of the many Christian churches one day.
It’s a big day for this precious child.
I know your family is extremely happy for them.

Thanks for the feedback. One think that I am worried about is that some of my family (which is small) won’t go, and how that may be construed.

Like people have said I here,enjoy the moment Together as a Family. :thumbsup:
How nervous is your child to you being nervous? He he. Don’t worry enjoy the moment, it’s for life.:slight_smile:

What’s funny is in our church, there are easily 100-125 people there on Sunday, and I’m usually the only one who doesn’t receive…so it’s awkward for me. :slight_smile:

IDK, I may be making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Oh, I’m sorry about that. I can understand your feelings of course. But please note, at a typical First Communion mass there might even be Catholic relatives that haven’t stepped into a church for 20 years or more. There’s a lot of people in the situation of not receiving.
And again, even though you may feel awkward, trust me…no one is to stare or give you the side eye. And if they do, I apologize in advance. But I really, truly believe it will be fine. :wink:

I think both sides should be invited.

Your family may feel awkward, since they can’t take Communion. Do they understand why they can’t receive Communion in a Catholic church?

Side story: I know I have explained to my mother why she can’t and she doesn’t understand and is upset. The best part is that my dad is a cradle RC and he gets upset, too. Dad hasn’t identified himself as Catholic for many years now.

Yes, we understand. Accepting of said reasoning may be another thing.

Here’s the thing: remind them that it’s for the child.
It’s not an opportunity for anyone to point fingers or make judgments.
Have a beautiful day, and rejoice for the child’s sake.
The child is Catholic. She is entitled to her faith. I’m sure they would agree.
God bless.

I feel for you too. We have a medium sized church. About 200 at Mass and maybe 2-5 don’t receive. My husband being one of them as he is not Catholic. We deal with this all the time but we always invite his family to all events and holidays. They usually come. They know the rule on communion. The only problem they have is when the kids and I go to their church for a service and don’t receive communion. We do stick out. Sometimes as many as five or six people will tell me and my kids that they are invited to receive, I don’t really want to get into a discussion in the middle of it. We simply decline with a smile…:shrug:

Honestly…I don’t get how people are aware of who receives and who doesn’t. :shrug:
As Catholics we pray intently during Communion. the LAST thing on my mind is who is standing, sitting or moving.
I mind my own business. Time with Christ is precious. I don’t look around.

I’m a EMHC and I need to look to see if we will have enough Hosts, if someone is disabled and needs me to bring it to them, determine if they have consumed the Host, etc. also it is very hard in my church to let others pass…I’m not really keeping score or anything…

I agree the time is precious. And if I am not helping out I’m in my own little world

TC, I think I understand how you feel.

On the one hand you want to be able to invite your family to share in your child’s special day.

And on the other hand, it’s awkward at best, and may lead to hurt feelings, to invite someone to an event while having to tell them not to participate in receiving the Eucharist.

One question is whether your parish is one that invites people to come up for a blessing, even if they not receiving the Eucharist. And the other side, would your family find this an acceptable alternative?

Another question is whether your family can be happy and celebrate this milestone with your children even if they’re not fully part of it. If they’re uncomfortable with not being able to receive communion, perhaps it would be better to invite them to the party afterward and not to Mass so that you can avoid awkwardness and hurt feelings.

And perhaps you can have something at the party that would allow them to participate more fully. For example, the grandparents on each side might offer a blessing for your child on this special day.

Would it help if I mentioned that my husband is not Catholic yet he stood proudly by my side each time one of our children received for the first time? He didn’t come to receive with us and as he put it, “I’m not Catholic, I don’t believe the same thing so why would I pretend I do?”

Unfortunately for us, we were military and our families were nowhere near for these important milestones in our children’s Faith journey. They were all there for the Baptism of the first two which took place in my childhood parish and rejoiced with us but that’s all they did.

I spoke with the Father in our parish, and they do allow non-Catholics to come up for blessing, but they do not invite. However, I don’t think that will be an alternative in my case, but I will let them know. Trust me, I’ve thought about that. To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about it myself. I’ve read quite a few opinions on here about how it shouldn’t be done, and it’s redundant because the same blessing is given at the end of Mass.

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