Monday, May 18, 2015

Henry's Second Communion

Ken and I got a lot of advice before we got married. It seems people always want to pass along little tidbits to people about to embark of life changes: weddings, births, funerals, job changes. One thing that really stuck with me, though, was the advice about spending some time planning your marriage while you are planning your wedding. A wedding is just one day, but a marriage {hopefully} lasts forever.

This same advice came back to me this weekend while Henry was preparing to receive his First Communion. He's gone through two years of Sacramental preparation for this event. He knows what he needs to know about Jesus and the Eucharist and how those things fit together. He was very excited for his First Communion.

He sat in his section with about 100 other boys and girls all decked out in their finery. They sang the songs, they prayed the prayers, they tugged on the veils of the girls in front of them (that might have just been Henry).  They practiced bowing, sticking out their tongues or holding out their hands, making the sign of the cross. They knew not to chew, or make faces, or drop anything. And one by one they went up to receive Jesus' Body and Blood.

And then it was all over except for the thank yous and announcements after Mass. We celebrated by going out to eat with the family and friends who had come to see Henry. We shared appetizers and stories and child corralling duties. We had a wonderful time visiting and talking together. And then we went home.

One of the songs they sang at Mass on Saturday had the line, "so we become what we eat." Henry asked about it after Mass. I didn't answer him outright, but led him to answer it himself. He was proud of himself to figuring out that each time we receive Communion, we become more and more like Jesus. He knows that in order to do that he needs to be nicer to his brother and sister, among other things!

Sunday morning we got up and got ourselves ready for Mass. Henry wore his suit again (because the congregation likes to see the kids all dressed up) so he was ready first. Part of that was the excitement too. See, I had told him that his First Communion was special, but every one after that would be just as special too. I think he feels like he has been inducted into a special club, which in a way, he has. Now he doesn't have to cross his arms over his chest a receive a blessing. He can go up and receive Jesus.

When he went up for his Second Communion, the priest started to give him a blessing out of habit. Henry bravely bowed and held his hands out a little more, while I nodded above him. He received and turned around to give me one of the biggest, proudest grins I've ever seen. I gave him back one of my biggest, proudest grins, and I teared up. He walked confidently over to the cup minister and then back to his seat to pray.

I'll be honest, Henry still gets fidgety during Mass. He still glares at me when I remind him to follow along with the readings or kneel at appropriate times. He's still the same boy he was last week, with maybe just a little extra holiness growing inside him. And who knows what will happen after his Third Communion, or his Twelfth, or his Thousandth?

Welcome to the club, Henry!!


  1. Such a sweet story. I love First Communion time!

  2. Congrats! It is such a proud moment and not just for the second graders but it truly is a community event to keep such an important tradition alive.

  3. Aw, Henry is adorable and huge welcome to the club!! ;)

  4. Congratulations, Henry! I got to see him receive his second communion. It was very sweet!

  5. Melissa Hunter-KilmerMay 19, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    Henry was adorable! I didn't see much of him, because I was packed in the back, but what I saw looked great. I have to say, though, I did a double-take when I realized he was making his first communion. How can he possibly be old enough for that???

    Also, that "become what we eat" line—now that I think of it, that just might be heresy. We don't become Jesus. We are the Body of Christ, but that's a different thing. Or maybe I have this wrong. But some of the stuff we sing makes me go "What???"

  6. I thought that about the line too, but I interpreted it as: we eat the body of Christ and so we become the body of Christ. That makes it work for me! :)


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