May 14 2011

First Holy Communion Day

Published by at 9:25 am under News

Do you remember years ago when you made your First Holy Communion? That’s my little sister on the left holding her certificate. I still have my one somewhere with the promise written on the back to always say my prayers before going to bed. It was the first time in my life that I actually got to wear something that my brothers or sisters hadn’t already worn. Do you remember the kind of questions the Nun’s drilled into us?…’Who made the world’? ‘God made the world, Sister’. ‘Can God do all things’? ‘Eh yeah’. ‘What do you mean “Eh Yeah. well? With the hair standing up on the back of your neck and the pee heading south down your spindley little legs you froze in terror. Out came the brown leather strap and twice as quick out came the answer ‘God can do all things, he is almighty’.Phew, that was close. In preparation for our big day the Nun put a small piece of an ice-cream wafer on our tongues and told us to pretend it was actual Holy Communion. Well that brought the leather strap out again as some of the lads began chewing on it. God but we were innocent.  We were marched in single file to the little chapel in the convent grounds to have our Confession heard. The Nun had told us that we would hear the voice of God in the confession box but to our little ears God sounded awfully like the Priest who came into our classroom to test us out with more questions. And do you remember the morning of your Communion? We were scrubbed spotless clean from head to toe and warned not to get ourselves dirty. The little young one from next door looking angelic in her white dress and new overcoat. She had a veil on her head that reminded me of all the weddings in our neighbourhood. I was only hoping to God that we weren’t getting married because she had one of those plaster patches over one eye of her glasses. The Mammy and Daddy were all spruced up and of course Granny had to come along as well. It was great because everyone kept putting money in my pockets. ‘Here you are love, there’s a little something for yourself’. Another threepenny bit would slip and slide down in my pocket and snuggle up to the pennies and halfpennies that were already there. Heading off to the convent chapel my stomach was rumbling for food. ‘Shut up moaning or you’ll get a belt’ says Granny. Then I couldn’t wait to get another piece of ice-cream wafer. All of the boys sat on one side of the chapel and the girls all sat on the other. I remember looking around to see where the Ma’ was and there she was smiling up at me like an angel from heaven. Then again we moved in single file up to the altar rail with out tongues hanging out to receive for the very first time the Body and Blood of Christ. It was white and round and didn’t look anything like the ice-cream wafer. It was also much bigger than I thought it would be. It actually filled my whole mouth and I couldn’t swallow it. Panic sets in as I begin to imagine myself having a martyrs death choking on my first piece of Holy Communion. I began to feel faint when one of the nuns gave me a shove and landed me back in my seat. Suddenly it was all over and we were outside getting photographs taken beside the little grotto with the statue of Our Lady. The Da’ was dying for a cigarette and me Granny wanted a cup of tea. I remember my mother bending down to fix my little white ankle socks that she had bought in Clery’s. The rest of the day went by in a blurr of aunties, uncles, neighbours, tea, cakes, lemonade and the back of my new shoes tearing the skin from the heel of my left foot. I don’t remember seeing much of my new suit after that but I remember my mother saying something about going to my ‘Uncle’ with it, so maybe one of my cousins got the suit. Well it’s that time of year again as my little seven year old nephew is making his First Holy Communion today. I hope he has as many memories of this special occasion as I have of mine. What was your special day like?

No responses yet

Comments are closed.