This Sunday is my oldest daughter’s first communion and she’s very excited. As part of the first communion program, the kids had to complete their first reconsiliation too, as in first confession. I know it’s been some time since my first reconsiliation, but somehow I don’t remember it happening as part of my first communion; I seem to remember it happening later, like in grade 5 not grade 2.
First reconciliation is also handled much differently than when I was younger too. I remember the box, the confessional, and the whole fears of Hell and confessing deep dark secrets and how God and the priest would react to not being nice to my sister or saying a bad word.
For the actual first reconciliation, our church held a family night and they introduced the kids to the reconciliation room. There’s a couch and chairs and even a window. A far cry from the dark confessional (aka closet) that I remember having to use.
On the actual Saturday of the event I tried to reassure my daughter that everything would be fine, that it’s not scary, Father Dan is very nice. Of course her response was that she wasn’t nervous at all; she was actually excited.
With so many kids completing their first confession they had three confessionals though two of them were out in the open. Not a big deal really. I mean what could a seven-year-old be confessing anyway, but still I would want my conversation to be more private. I didn’t say anything to my daughter; I didn’t want to influence her decision, but she decided she wanted to go into the reconciliation room anyway.
Parents stood with their kids as they waited their turn, reassuring them it would be fine. My daughter was busy telling jokes until her turn, no need to reassure her.
Afterword the kids had to write something they were thankful for on one strip of paper and something they wish they could change. All the strips were added on to a chain and were burned later, sending the message to God.
Of course no celebration is complete without a little party afterwards. It was a potluck with all sorts of treats.
And now tomorrow my daughter will be celebrating her first communion. It’s hard to believe it’s here, just one more step in my daughter’s journey.