22 June 2016

Cecilia's First Holy Communion

We are Catholic. I try hard to raise my children to understand their faith enough to explain it to others who may not understand. Part of growing up Catholic is receiving the Holy Eucharist for the first time. Cecilia has taken classes every Saturday for two years to lead up to this moment.
First Communions in Mexico tend to be large social gatherings, where friends and family get together to mark this important life event. However, we are not incredibly social. Our family is very small and Hector and I prefer to keep to ourselves. The large party that usually accompanies this event was absent on this day. Instead, we tried to keep the focus on the sacrament. As Catholics, we believe that the bread and wine is truly transubstantiated into the literal Body and Blood of Christ. You don't get much more of a personal relationship with Christ than that. We didn't go to a salon- I did Cecilia's hair myself after Cecilia picked out a hairstyle from Facebook. Her dress had transparent sleeves, so I made her a satin cape to go along with it. I couldn't find any godparent as Mexico requires godparents for everything, so her Catechism instructor stepped in and did the favor.

We got to the church about an hour early because parking can be ridiculous. That gave me some time to take pictures in the park. I really wanted a family picture, but neither Leo nor Hector could not cooperate at the same time. I tried to get some pictures inside the church beforehand, but the hustle and bustle made it near impossible. 
Fortunately for me this time, everything in Mexico is a hustle. The church hired a couple of photographers to take pictures. I'm glad because I couldn't get a picture of Cecilia receiving for the first time. People tend not to be very nice when it comes to their kids. I get it. The photographer charged me $50 pesos per photo, about $3 USD. I was very happy with their work, and I didn't even get their business card.

After the Mass, in leiu of a party, we went out for Chinese food. Cecilia loved walking all over and having everyone see her in her dress. After eating, we went to the beach to take a couple more pictures of her.

All in all, the day was not what I had always dreamed for her. I would have loved for us to be surrounded by friends and family, but we were able to keep everything focused on what was really important. First Communion is not about the fancy dress, the party, the godparents, or the pictures. It's about Jesus, and nothing more. I hope that when Isaias and Leo make their FHC, we will be able to focus on Jesus and not on how many people show up. 

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