May 18, 2009 § 4 Comments
The big day was yesterday!
Hannah looked like an angel. Seeing her in the dress made me so very glad that I worked up the nerve to do it and so glad that my husband was persistent and encouraging.
Ashley and I drove Hannah to the parish early so we could gets a pew and make sure everything was in place. In our parish the First Communicants give each other little favors, holy cards, little candies, it is a very sweet tradition and makes the day even more special. We made little boxes and put a little tulle bag with mints and Tootsie-roll minis in each one.
Kyle brought the other children a little after us.
We got to the parish none too early. It was already filling up and we were happy just to get a pew. We passed my mother on the way there and Babchia and granddad had already arrived with Uncle David and cosines Logan, Shelby and Shane.
The first communicants processed in together. They were all so lovely.
One thing I like about how our parish does first communion is that we have a professional photographer take pictures of the actual reception. This means parents aren’t scrambling to get their pictures while no one gets to see a thing.
After the Mass we have a reception in the parish hall:
Babchia took Hannah outside to get some pictures and Father Antony was there. I love this picture.
We all had a happy day, everyone is so proud of Hannah.
What a blessed day we all had.
February 10, 2009 § 9 Comments
When Rachel was preparing for her First Communion I created a couple tools to help her prepare. The first tool we created was “Rachel’s Jesus Book” and the second was a social story about attending mass and receiving Communion.
Since Rachel was born she has attended religious services. First in the LDS Church and then when she was about three we started attending Catholic Mass. By the time Rachel was 9 we had been attending weekly mass in the same parish for about three years. Mass wasn’t something new to Rachel. The Jesus book was created to help her more fully understand the imagery in mass.
The social story was more a practical guild to receiving the Eucharist. The order of the mass, how we receive and what it means. I want to think that having the two separate books helped Rachel pin-point the Eucharist as the pinnacle of the mass. Attending worship services as a community, the prayer of the mass, the divine liturgy are all very important, but they are nothing without the Body and Blood of Christ. « Read the rest of this entry »
January 20, 2009 § 6 Comments
or “how to recycle your wedding dress”.
I love my wedding dress. Beautiful white embroidery on white satin. But the reality is that I am not going to wear it again, it sits lonely in the basement waiting for nothing, destined to never see the light of day again except for those rare occasions where I clean the basement out and pull it up for the girls to coo over. So I decided to use it to sew Hannah’s first communion dress. It was a remarkably difficult choice. Even though I am not under the delusion that any of the girls would wear it for their own wedding, there was still something rather heart stopping about actually cutting into it. I had Kyle come in and give me “moral support” while I made the first couple of cuts.
So, in case anyone is interested, and for the sake of documenting this whole process here is the first two days of the great dress project:
June 10, 2008 § 2 Comments
Every once in a while I like to go through the search terms people use to find this site to see what questions are being asked to lead people here. Funny enough sometimes I know that they won’t find the answer they are looking for in what I have written, even more humorous is when I actually know the answers anyhow. Here are some of the latest.
What is a child receiving communion called? Anyone who is entitled to receive communion can be called a communicant. For first communion it would be “first communicant”.
Where can I learn the catholic rosary? Not here, but The Rosary Center or Catholic Online both have the prayers. And you can use the same Rosary beads for a chaplet as well. My favorite is the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
What is the most important moment in my life? You are in it. Right now is the most important moment in your life. It is the only moment you have any control over. All choices are made in the now. All plans, all dreams depend on how we live the little moments of our lives. Who and what you are living this moment for makes all the difference.
What does it mean to be living a Catholic life? For me it means you are working on forming yourself, your conscience, your habits and practices in the image God wants for you, that you are striving to be like Him within the structure, the tradition and the support of Catholic teaching. In short following the precepts of the Church.
As always the Catechism of the Church has a better answer than I could ever hope to form:
2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:2042 The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor.”) requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the Mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic Celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days.82The second precept (“You shall confess your sins at least once a year.”) ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism’s work of conversion and forgiveness.83
The third precept (“You shall receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season”) guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.84
2043 The fourth precept (“You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church”) ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts and help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.NT1The fifth precept (“You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church”) means that the faithful are obliged to assist with the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.NT2
III. MORAL LIFE AND MISSIONARY WITNESS
2044 The fidelity of the baptized is a primordial condition for the proclamation of the Gospel and for the Church’s mission in the world. In order that the message of salvation can show the power of its truth and radiance before men, it must be authenticated by the witness of the life of Christians. “The witness of a Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have great power to draw men to the faith and to God.”88
2045 Because they are members of the Body whose Head is Christ,89 Christians contribute to building up the Church by the constancy of their convictions and their moral lives. The Church increases, grows, and develops through the holiness of her faithful, until “we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”90
2046 By living with the mind of Christ, Christians hasten the coming of the Reign of God, “a kingdom of justice, love, and peace.”91 They do not, for all that, abandon their earthly tasks; faithful to their master, they fulfill them with uprightness, patience, and love.
How do I prepare my autistic son for 1st Communion? A lot of that will depend on where on the autism spectrum your son is. I have written about First Communion and autism here. In the US the most important document on the topic is: Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities. Most pastors I have known have been very open to working with families dealing with disability issues. There are some out there who aren’t and that is very sad but we are all human and struggle with our own fears, discomforts and prejudices and I would hope that we always keep in mind the Proverb: A mild answer calms wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
As far as practical advice goes the two most helpful things in general I can say are: Practice with a few unconsecrated breads and wine before the actual sacrament so you can see if there are any taste or texture issues that might cause problems, and social stories are very helpful. Your child’s school probably has software to help create one or you can find images online and put one together yourself. One of these days I might get around to putting mine online.
Being a good wife means what? You might be looking for the “1950’s home economic textbook’s 10 step guide to being a good wife” here is it at snopes or you might want Aristotle’s work “On a good wife“. You might be looking for the Proverb 31 description or Titus 2 and in the end, even thoug one is a ‘joke’ they all have similar themes. If you were to condense them all down you get something like this:
A good wife is woman of worth in her own right. She is someone who is thoughtful, just, kind, modest, graceful, respectable, honorable and faithful. She takes good care of her home and household. She is wise with her family’s assets. She avoids any scandal. She takes excellent care of her children and her family and shows consideration and charity to her community, the poor and the needy. She loves her husband, showing him respect, support, devotion and affection. Above all she serves God.
I have written a little more on the topic of being a Good Wife here.