need advice

I am fairly new to this forum. This actually is my first post.:slight_smile:
My son is getting ready to receive his first communion! We of course are very excited for him. Our focus for that special day is not the outfit or the get together afterwards, it is the wonderful sacrament he is going to celebrate. We would like to invite those we love to witness this event. Here is where the advice is needed. Do I limit the witnesses to strictly catholic witnesses?? Many of my family members are NOT catholic (and some have anti-catholic feelings mostly due to ignorance). Some of these family members have asked when my son is going to celebrate this sacrament. I really had not planned on inviting them. I am not sure if their interest in this day is because they care about my son (which of course they do) or if it is more of a not wanting to be left out of an event.
My dh’s side is catholic. My side is not (I’m a convert!!!yeah for me). My sister is also a convert. I have asked her to step in as a godparent role for my son. His original godfather has now left the Church and is a charismatic bible christian…but that’s for another thread! My family members and my sister do not always get along (my side of the family is a mess!). I am wondering if her presence is why they are expressing interest in this day. So obviously, my sister will be the only family member invited from my side. My sister and my relationship can be strained at times but she loves my son and does wonderful to fulfill her committment to him. Do I restrict it to those who know what this sacrament is really all about? Or do I keep family harmony and perhaps take the opportunity to educate by inviting non catholics? Or should I just keep it to our immediate family plus my sister? (but then I would feel like I was leaving out my dh’s side) What does one do when your extended family is in turmoil all of the time? Do you keep them at a distance from these events so they don’t take away the focus? Do you attempt to try again and just put on the happy face for the day? HELP!!
p.s. after re-reading this I think my solution is clear but I would still like input and if anything, thanks for listening! (or should I say reading).

First, W E L C :wave: M E to the form.

I, another convert, invited my family to the Mass and asked them NOT to come forward for communion. If they did not want to do that, they could meet us at the reception aftwards. If you are going to have a party, invite you Catholic Apologist friends (the ones who can defend the faith).

God Bless and Congradulations.

I have been a Catholic since age 1 month. My recollection of family and friends that special day includes my mother even though my only set of living grandparents, father and siblings were there.

Grandparents only were invited on my children’s First Eucharist Day. We requested there be no gifts.

You need to simply go with the flow of celebration at church that day. Relax and enjoy the blessing for you and your child. Don’t ever get caught up in the worry of entertaining ‘The Family’ when you have only one small moment in time to witness your special child recieve Christ.

You would be surprised how much more special the day will be for your child when you can focus and pray on him/her only. The Church in her wisdom will continue to provide the celebration each and everytime your child receives in the future. The Eucharistic Celebration is what your child will remember most…not who was there watching.

First, let me say I’m a cradle catholic, married to a wonderful convert, and we have 3 kids, the second of which celebrated first communion last year. My family lives far away, but my husband’s agnostic folks are local. We decided to invite them. They are not outwardly hostile, but ignorant and certainly not supportive, but like most people, understand the concept that it’s a “big deal” for Catholic children. In our church, the parents escort their child up and receive after the child receives - a wonderful family event. The grandparents were there to witness it and could not mistake the shining eyes of faith our our boy - and you know, the more we can get those folks into church and witness to them our faith, in my mind, the better. Having their beloved grandkids be the instruments of witness must be powerful (as their prayers for the conversion of their unbelieving grandparents must be!) I say, if the grandparents or any particular relatives have genuine affection for your precious child, invite them! (that is, if your religious ed program allows it - in our church there were so many kids taking first communion that we only were alotted half a pew anyways- we couldn’t have fit any more guests!)

Have faith! God bless…


As I remember only my Grandparents (both sides Catholic) and my parents were there, but really do what you think will be best for your son.

first thing to do is find out from the teacher, catechist or DRE how many people each family will be allowed to invite. If the entire class is celebrating at one Mass, the size of the church may limit the number of those who can attend. At my grandchildren’s parishes up north they actually issue tickets. In my parish, the Church is very small and Masses SRO at this time of year, so we reserve only one pew per child, up to ten in any one Mass (which means we have 1st communions at every Mass during the Easter season). Since the custom is for Hispanic children to have padrinos or godparents for communion, or to invite the baptismal godparents, that can be a squeeze. By law a Mass cannot be “invitation only” so theoretically anyone is welcome to be present at Mass (even a wedding with a nuptial Mass in a Catholic Church), but there are practical realities.

bottom line: if family members have no respect or basic understanding of our belief about the Eucharist, there is no point in asking them to attend the Mass. keep the party as the family event in that case.

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