Monday, April 25, 2011

First Communion Gift Ideas and Attending the Ceremony for Non Catholics

My girls on their First Communion
A friend asked me about First Communion gift ideas. At least I think she did. She mentioned her niece was having her First Communion in May and my friend, not being Catholic, had some questions. And I, being totally pushy, kind of did her shopping for her.

I thought I'd go ahead and make a blog post about it because I'm sure she won't be using even half of what I sent her unless her niece's First Communion party is meant to top the royal wedding. (Oh super, people will stumble into this post because they've googled "royal wedding."- Lookin' for THE royal wedding, go here.)


For First Communion gifts, you won't go wrong with books- particularly by shopping at the store. (That there was a link to the Children's page, btw.)
My kids love The Little Acts of Grace books, Just Like Mary, Beatitudes for Children. ($6.95 each)
And especially The Princess and the Kiss ($15.95) But those are just one ones we're familiar with. Don't be afraid of anything in their kids department.


I found some reasonable prices on wall crosses here. I love the pewter floral cross.


The Catholic Family Catalog is a good resource:

The Weight of a Mass by Josephine Nobisso is a fairy tale about a baker, his son, and a widow on the day of a royal wedding (there's that phrase again) and a miracle that demonstrates value of the Mass. ($9.95)

The Weight of A Mass

Also, a beautiful white Communion themed Holy water font caught my eye on that page. ($21.50)

This thing is totally cool. It's a hooked-together saint card thing with pics and stories of the saints. ($10.16)

Patron Saints: Catholic Cardlinks

A subscription to Magnifikid Magazine for $34.90 would to totally awesome!
Child's Guide to The Seven Sacraments by Elizabeth Ficocelli. $8.76
Lovely Mary and Jesus statue! ($23.79)

One of my favorite sites: SERRV- a hand crafted, fair trade organization. They have some nice cross necklaces. Check out there other stuff while you're there and remember them for all your gift giving. Their baskets are super well made!


And today, I discovered Keepsakes Etc. I love this First Communion blanket! They have others as well, so shop around.

And if you're thinking ahead and you're the crafty sort, you may want to knit this sweet First Communion shawl for the young girl in your life. Go here to The Knitting Vault.

If you have a local Catholic Book store- go there. It's great to support local businesses and they'll help you find the perfect gift!

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Okay, say you are not a Catholic or you're a super lapsed Catholic and you haven't stepped into a church since your Great Aunt Mabel died in 1974. You get an invite to a First Communion and it's in a Catholic Church (they always are, you know) and you feel you ought to go. After all, this family agreed to wear pointed Vulcan ears at your kid's Star Trek themed first birthday party.

You bought the gift because you read the top of this post, but you're nervous about the Church part. Isn't there a lot of prayer stuff you gotta know? Kneeling/standing/genuflecting. (Crud, now I have the "Vatican Rag"stuck in my head. Don't click this unless you have a light heart and a sense of humor.)

You may participate as much or as little as you feel comfortable. You may follow along with the rest of the people and sit,stand and kneel when they do or just sit. For such events as First Communions, people aren't surprised when non-Catholics attend because you're supporting friends and family.

Priest celebrates Mass on an aircraft carrier

The only thing you may not do if you aren't a practicing Catholic, is you may not receive Holy Communion. We believe it's the very blood, body, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. We won't go into why you can't have it in this post. This day is about your nephew/niece/friend's kid. I wrote about Communion here and here.

In some parishes they invite guests to cross their arms across their chests and come up for a blessing. Keep your mouth shut so the priest doesn't think you're trying to receive Communion on your tongue. ;)

Roman Catholic Eucharist

If you aren't going up to get a blessing, just sit down and scooch your knees aside as you sit there to let others pass by to get out. No worries. I've done this too when I first returned to the Church before I could receive Communion again. When they sit back down and kneel, you can kneel too if you want, that way the people behind you who kneel down won't be breathing into the back of your neck as you sit there. Say a prayer if you pray. (I hope you do.)But if you don't, think about cake. They're sure to have cake at the party after Mass.

Cupcakes my niece, Jasmine, made once YUM!

Words and other things you might want to know:
Holy Communion = Holy Eucharist = Host
The Holy Water Font- Everyone is allowed to bless themselves before entering the church. Dip the fingertips of your right hand into the water. Touch your forehead, chest, left shoulder, right shoulder. (In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.)
Amen is a Hebrew word meaning "truth" or "truly."

Any questions about attending Mass, the meanings of things, or gifts?


  1. My kids just had their first communion last week. It was a blast of a celebration for us.

  2. Those are really great tips for anyone attending a communion... thanks