Olivia Ann and Thomas Scott, our eight year old twin grandchildren will be celebrating their second sacrament, First Holy Communion on May 1st, 2010. This is a blessed event. At least it is for Olivia, I am not so sure Tommy shares the same level of enthusiasm.
First holy communion is the second of seven sacraments. Most catholics celebrate at least six during their lives, baptism, first communion, reconciliation, matrimony and the anointing of the sick. The seventh is ordination or becoming a priest. You may or may not be married, and you may or may not become a priest, therefore you might only celebrate five sacraments.
With these most holy commitments there is a traditional dress requirement. This dress code has not changed for thousands of years and each symbolizes the specific sacrament and the solemnity of the occasion. The baptismal gown, for example is white and can be worn by either gender, therefore it can be passed down through the family. The First Holy Communion dress and veil for a girl is always white as is the Bridal Gown and veil, symbolizing purity. For the boys, a white shirt and navy tie is required with long pants and dark shoes. The act of reconciliation requires appropriate church attire expressing the profound meaning and respect of this holy tradition.
On a trip to Rome in 2004, we visited The Vatican where I purchased four rosaries that had been blessed by Pope John Paul II just shortly before his death. I was able to present Abby with her rosary upon her First Holy Communion and gave Taylor her rosary after the fact. A beautiful pink crystal and a black crystal rosary are ready to present to Olivia and Tommy, our current communicants.
With two grand-daughters to date I have made a special time of choosing the perfect dress and traveling to St. Augustine to the Shrine to purchase a veil and prayer book. We have decided and purchased Olivia’s dress and will make a trip with both Tommy and Olivia in the near future to the Shrine then a traditional lunch and ride on the carousel in the heart of old St. Augustine.
In late April, our fifteen year old grand-daughter Taylor will celebrate her confirmation. She has asked Lindsay to be her sponsor. Lindsay will be her spiritual mentor and is honored to do so. That means we will be celebrating at least three of the seven sacraments in 2010, communion, confirmation and holy matrimony with the wedding of Lindsay and Matthew in the fall.
Life is a gift given to us by God. We have an opportunity to honor Him every day through our thoughts and actions. Through the holy sacraments, we convey our deep commitment to living a life that reflects God’s love and the guidelines He has given us in His word. I can think of no better way to express our tremendous love and adoration than by instilling these values in our children just as we promised during the sacrament of holy matrimony. It will be a day to celebrate, once again.