Today I decided to tackle a reader question from Julie in Minneapolis:
I have a 2nd grade son making his first reconciliation soon..do you have any ideas or gifts (do you give gifts for that???) on how we can celebrate it? document it? they are just doing it during the school day so there is nothing sponsored by the church ..just wondering what people do for that..thank you!!
I was reading this email and thinking that as Catholics, we tend to wait for first communion to celebrate. I consulted this topic with my favorite Catholic forum and on my facebook page. I got some response that first reconciliation was more of an “inward accomplishment” so therefore not calling for the same celebration that other sacraments do. Given that I’ve never heard of a “First Reconciliation Party”, I thought most other Catholic must feel the same way. Even so, first reconciliation is a sacrament, and could still be recognized as a mile stone… no?
Have you guys heard of first communion banners?(I’m pretty sure I was the last Catholic on the planet to hear ofthem). Anyway, I think it would be super cool to give your child acraft set to make his or her own First Communion Banner as a gift aftertheir first reconciliation. That way, it can be a gift, but becausethey also use it at the First Communion it becomes a memory item for both!Catholic Child Catalog has quite a collection of first communion banner kits you can order. I like this “Lamb of God” one! Isn’t it beautiful? Everyone can be a successful crafter with these easy-to-use kits!
A First Reconciliation certificate would certainly be a nice way to commemorate this special occasion, and you can print a free first penance certificate here! (Isn’t it great to find stuff for free online?!)
I got sooooo many replies from families that went out for ice cream after their child’s first reconciliation that I’m going to go ahead and proclaim it a Catholic tradition! (Do I have the authority to do that?) No matter. Whether you spring for Baskin Robbins or make Sundays at home with the kids, take it to the next level by making it symbolic- eat vanilla ice cream because it’s white for “purity”.