There is no necessary expense for First Holy Communion

Dear Editor, The celebration of First Holy Communion has not always been as elaborate as it has become in very recent decades. How much of today’s celebration expenses have grown in response to acquiescing to advertising by hotels and restaurants and other agencies? (to whom I attribute no blame, as the choice by parents remains free)

The fact is that there is no expense for First Holy Communion: preparation, in Catholic schools and in parish for the sacrament is free, the celebration requires no donation from parents, there is no requirement from the Church for white dresses for girls or suits for boys and the choice of celebratory meals and food is at the discretion of the families concerned!

The Eucharist is a celebration of the close connection that exists between people and God by nature of God’s coming among us in Jesus. This is what we celebrate in First Holy Communion and with or without the attire, the same will happen in the sacrament.

What would make this a special and memorable day for the child? The method does not necessarily need to cost money. Why do what ‘everyone else does’? It is not necessary to build a day that will stand tall for anyone outside the family concerned. It is not a ‘news’ item! It is more essential to build a memorable day that will frame the fact that the child concerned has been made by God, is cherished by God and is called to greatness by God through living each day well and with love for self, others and God. If we planned the day with no regard for what anyone else was doing or thought, what would we really choose to do after leaving the Church when the sacramental celebration is over?

Yours etc.,

Cathy Burke,


Dublin 20.