Recognition of the gifts we have received from the Lord's bounty is first and foremost in any celebration. A celebration of a child's First Holy Communion is no exception. Consider this beautiful prayer from Let's Say Grace: Mealtime Prayers for Family Occasions Throughout the Year by Robert M. Hamma (OOP) to begin your feasting and festivities.
All loving God,
You created (name) in Your image
and gave him/her the gift of life in our family.
Through baptism You welcomed (name)
into your family, the Church,
and called him/her to live as Your son/daughter.
We thank You for this day,
on which, for the first time, (name) received
Your Son Jesus in the Eucharist.
May we always be nourished by Your presence
so as to grow in friendship with You.
As we continue our celebration around this table,
bless our food
and help us recognize Christ in one another.
We ask this in Jesus' name.
Symbols & Decorations:
When planning the foods and decorations for the celebration, symbols associated with the Eucharist are commonly used.
-The usual symbol for the Holy Eucharist is a chalice, with a host rising out of it, with either IHS or INRI imprinted on the host.
-An altar, upon which is set a cross, two or more candles in their tall candlesticks, a chalice and a ciborium, is another symbol often seen.
-Fish with Basket of Bread
Using the symbols is beneficial to remind us of the accidents of the Eucharist, the bread and wine, including the shape and/or color. These symbols could be used in decorations or incorporated into the food choices and how they are decorated.
Another idea for decorations is to use the child's baptismal garment and candle.
Appetizers & Main Meal ideas:
-Round Crackers and cheese, with grapes in platter.
-Boule or Round breads, recipes like spinach bowl dip, boule (round breads)
But remember symbolic foods doesn't necessarily have to reign the day. Many people celebrate, using favorite foods of the First Communicant or foods to please the crowd, or going out to eat.
We will be including some recipes for specific symbolic breads and desserts in future posts. Please continue to visit this week for more ideas. And don't forget to to join us for the From They Bounty Fair on May 15 which will feature ideas and First Communion celebrations from fair participants.