Either I was the last Catholic on the planet to hear of first communion banners, or some of you also aren’t familiar with this popular first communion tradition. Some parishes have all of their first communicants make banners. If this is the case at your church, you’ll need to check and see if there are “rules” you need to follow (for instance, they want everyone’s banner to be the same size, etc.) The rest of you may feel free to fly by the seat of your pants!
Materials Needed to Make a First Communion Banner:
- Big piece of felt or other fabric for background (don’t shy away from bright colors!)
- Wooden dowel
- Assorted colors of felt (the stiff kind works best)
- Sharp Scissors
- Glitter glue or Fabric paint and craft jewels (optional)
Start by having you child sketch out what they want their first communion banner to look like. Let them design the first communion banner themselves- it will be more special to them that way! Some different symbols you can suggest for their first communion banner could include a chalice, dove, host, monstrance, lamb, grapes, wheat, cross, angel, bible, Jesus fish, or even a rainbow. Don’t forget to leave room for your name and possibly the date.
When they’re ready, have them cut their symbol pieces out of felt. We found that the stiff felt was easier to work with than the floppy kind, and I love the felt with glitter!
Have them keep arranging their pieces and designing their first communion banner until everything is where they want it. Then they can glue the pieces down. You can either make an attempt to cut the letters of your child’s name out of felt, or you can look for pre-cut felt letters at your craft store. You can even buy iron-on letters. You could also just use your fabric paint to write on the name and date, which would be a lot easier than cutting the letters out.
What do you do with a first communion banner? Well, it’s generally displayed at the first communion mass. Some churches hang them all up on strings, some hang them off the sides of the pews. After first communion, taking your child’s picture with their adorable banner is a must!
When you get back home hang it up in their room as a memento of this important day! (By the way, this is my little brother. He is so proud of his banner!)
If you’d like to see more first communion banner examples, Angie at Many Little Blessings has a pictures of more than 40 child-made first communion banners. Of course, all inclusive first communion banner kits are available if that’s more your speed, and some of them are quite striking when completed!