Today we celebrated with our family and friends, our children's reception of the sacraments they received this past year. We call this annual party our 'sacrament party'. We began having these parties about 7 years ago when we realized that every weekend from early May to mid-June, we were going from house to house honoring a niece or nephew who received a sacrament. One of us thought of the wonderful idea to have all kids receiving a special sacrament, gather together for a combined party. This year we have 3 confirmands: my son, Mark, Patty's son, Eli and Sue's daughter, Joanie and one first communicant, Carolyn's grandchild, Jazlyn. Our festivities occurred at a picnic shelter at a local park. The food preparation was divided among the families. Fun outdoor games were placed out on the lawn and we were blessed with awesome weather with just a drizzle of rain at the end of the day. We have a tradition of allowing each child to choose their favorite dessert and then we prepare it (or buy it!!). We take a photo of our child receiving their First Communion or Confirmation and put that photo on top of their special dessert. The party itself is a fun time for everyone but most importantly we know that the child's First Communion is the first one of many, many communions. The child's First Reconciliation is the first one of frequent reception of this sacrament and making Reconciliation a big part of their lives. The love, mercy and forgiveness that God showers upon us in the confessional is a source of great joy. It is also very humbling that He so freely offers us His mercy and bestows much grace upon us. Confirmation is the beginning of the child taking on a more adult role in the Catholic Church and actively working on their faith formation.
Looking ahead to next year's party, there will be 5 kids celebrating their Confirmations and 3 kids receiving their First Communion and First Reconciliation. Next June, we will meet again to offer our prayers and our support for our children as they continue on their faith journeys armed with the nourishment of the Eucharist, the wondrous graces from Reconciliation and the strength and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
God's peace be with you.