Terminology difference - regional or?


#1

I’ve noticed a lot of people in the past few years saying that a person is “making his First Communion”, but I am more familiar with “receiving his First Communion”.

I’ve just been wondering if this is simply a regional difference, or perhaps it is generational. Which is more common in your area?


#2

[quote="babochka, post:1, topic:330068"]
I've noticed a lot of people in the past few years saying that a person is "making his First Communion", but I am more familiar with "receiving his First Communion".

I've just been wondering if this is simply a regional difference, or perhaps it is generational. Which is more common in your area?

[/quote]

I think it may be generational. I grew up with 'make his First Communion' and the same verb was used in French (faire sa première communion). And back then we talked about a catechetical program.

Fast forward 40 years and catechists now speak of 'receiving First Communion' and the 'catechetical process'. I've lost track of how many times I've heard the reprimand "It's a process, not a program!"


#3

Now you’ve got me thinking. :hmmm:

I’ve heard it both ways, but I’m trying to think of where I’ve heard which way more often.

It seems more technically correct – theologically speaking – to say “receive” as that is what we are doing. But I don’t know that I’d go around correcting people who say it the other way.

It bothers me more to hear people say they “take” Communion. :o But I know most people don’t mean anything sinister by such verbiage as though they have a right to “take” Jesus on their own terms whenever they please. Most people just don’t speak in theologically precise terms. :shrug:


#4

I had no idea some people use the word make. I say receive because one actually receives something in the sacrament. Then again I am a weirdo at language. :p


#5

But we speak of “making a spiritual communion”, so I think that maybe “make” and “receive” emphasize different aspects of receiving the sacrament. I’m in my mid-40s and can remember some people from my childhood say “make”. I grew up in California, and they were from Pennsylvania. I guess that’s why I wondered if it might be regional.


#6

Interesting point. You’re right. “Make a spiritual Communion” is a common phrase.

Now I’m trying to think of the theological significance of the word “make”. :stuck_out_tongue:


#7

[quote="Joe_5859, post:3, topic:330068"]
Now you've got me thinking. :hmmm:

I've heard it both ways, but I'm trying to think of where I've heard which way more often.

It seems more technically correct -- theologically speaking -- to say "receive" as that is what we are doing. But I don't know that I'd go around correcting people who say it the other way.

It bothers me more to hear people say they "take" Communion. :o But I know most people don't mean anything sinister by such verbiage as though they have a right to "take" Jesus on their own terms whenever they please. Most people just don't speak in theologically precise terms. :shrug:

[/quote]

I know that we don't 'take' Communion, as in reach into the ciborium and take a Host.

OTOH, if someone offers you something you usually 'take it' rather than 'receive it', so why do people get into such a snit to hear 'take Communion' when the priest is actually offering you a Host and you are taking it?


#8

Where I currently live and where I grew up, people always said, “making her first Communion”. I have never heard anyone say, “receiving her First Communion.” So perhaps it’s regional?


#9

Because all Catholics should be receiving COTT, not taking CITH. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m just joking (I don’t really want to go there). I had never really thought about it until I noticed Fr. Serpa point it out several times in the Ask An Apologist forum. Really, I suppose it’s more of a personal preference than anything. Jesus did say “Take this all of you and eat it.” I guess “take” has just taken (no pun intended :)) a negative connotation in this context for me. It conjures up images of people swiftly snatching the host from the priest’s hand. :o

But, yeah, I don’t know if it’s the theological battle I’d want to die fighting in.


#10

I was taught, my children were taught, and now my grandchildren were taught “making my First Communion.” Our parish bulletin always says “Congratulations to these children who made their First communion”. I suspect it is regional.

However, when a person is Baptized, we say they “received Baptism”, rather than they “made their Baptism”. In both cases they receive a Sacrament, but for some reason we use “made” in reference to Holy Communion.

But we never say “making Communion” after the First Communion. We always say “I went up for Communion, or I went to Communion.”


#11

Could both “make” and “receive” connotations apply?

“Make” - referring to the spiritual nature of the act - making their first unification with Christ through the sacrament, establishing a new level of relationship? (Referencing the previous post about “making a spiritual communion with the Lord”).

“Receive” - referring to both the physical and spiritual nature of the act - accepting the host and wine, the gift of Christ’s sacrifice, his love and mercy, his presence in their bodies?


#12

Or we say we received Communion. For example, you don’t hear somebody say “Should pro-abortion politicians be able to make Communion.” It is generally stated “Should they receive Communion?”


#13

I believe it is more a pre-vatican II thing. It can also apply to one making one’s Confirmation. It may have been something that came out of Ireland, and was brought to the US from the priest’s and sisters.


#14

I think I have usually heard the word "make" used for First Reconciliation, **First **Communion, and Confirmation.

I think it's kind of a milestone/checkbox/achievement thing. Roman/Latin children have traditionally had to "work" (as in take classes, etc.) to be eligible to receive those sacraments. It's kind of like they had to "made the grade", before they were admitted to those sacraments.

The word "make is **NOT *used for the "typical" repeated receptions of the sacraments. The only other times I hear the word "make" used in reference to reception of the sacraments is in the case of *required **reception. For example, "Did you *make *your Easter duty?"


#15

I’ve heard it both ways and never heard either questioned.


#16

Well, I’ve always heard “make First Communion”. Without a hint of ideological baggage, except for the perennially offended :wink:


#17

I knew a you g woman from New York that referred to her younger family members “making 5 this week” or “he just made 7” instead if “turning 5”. I thought it was weird but am e it’s related to this making first communion thing. I’ve only heard receiving.


#18

This usage of the word make seems to give credence to my experience.

The word “make” is used in reference to sacraments when the reception of that sacrament is being *measured *or *quantified *in some way.

You might make a good confession, a *required *communion, and a *scheduled *confirmation.


#19

Must admit I’ve never heard of anyone “making” their Confirmation. It’s always been ‘he was confirmed’.


#20

Well, I got baptized, got confirmed, got good grades, got my degree, got certified, got a good job, got married, got a good health care plan, got regular checkups, got fired (no, not that, just kidding), but to say I got Holy Communion just doesn’t sound right. Also, I went to college, I graduated, and I retired. But I don’t think I should say I went to Holy Communion or I First Holy Communed,

I made a lot of friends and a few enemies, made some people happy and a few people angry, made hay while the sun was still shining, made my way up the professional ladder, made up for lost time, made a good confession, made a mad dash for the bus, made more mistakes than I like to remember, made another good confession, made my way through life, made a number of decisions, made an apple pie, made dinner for two, made the most out of it, made haste, made waste, made my marriage work, made lemonade out of life’s lemons, made money in the stock market not, made my mark, made an agreement, made out like a champ, made some money, made certain advancements, made much ado about nothing, made short shrift of various things, made no bones about it, made a name for myself, made a few concessions, made music, made a go at it, made mountains out of molehills, made a mixed drink, made a good cup of coffee, made up for past mistakes, made myself at home, made a mess, made a fool out of myself, made my home in Virginia, made a number of trips, made telephone calls, made time for smelling the roses, made my bed and slept in in, made the team, made tracks, made a good shot, made a poptart gun, made the grade, made a ruckus, made a career change, made a full house, made an ugly face, made a witty remark, made a boo boo, made sandcastles, made a snowman, made a difference, made it to Mass on time, made no bones about it, made good spaghetti sauce, made a good impression, made a fire, made a recording, made an *** of myself, made a flight, made a critique, made a valiant effort, made more with less, made a joke, but I never made an encounter of the third kind, I never made more money than I could burn, I never made the newspapers, and I never made a pop tart gun, but I did make my First Holy Communion. .

I received bills in the mail, received a BSBA, received presents on my birthday, received a commendation, received good news, received a radio signal, received some good advice, received plenty of criticism, received a smallpox vaccination, received an honorable discharge, received attention, received something for nothing not, received bad directions, received top honors, received a bad grade, received counseling, received a package from UPS, received email, received mixed signals, received a clean bill of health, received an offer, received guests, and received bad news, but I did not receive a life sentence, I did not receive a Nobel Prize, and I did not receive Bubonic Plague, but I did receive my First Holy Communion.

Also, I did have my First Holy Communion, and sometimes I do seem to have too much time on my hands. :smiley:


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