Here is another “God’s Little Reminders Not to Take Ourselves Too Seriously” from my dear friend, Pam, sharing about her First Holy Communion.
“I was raised in the Catholic Church, and it is a tradition when a child reaches 7 or 8 years old to participate in her First Holy Communion. This is a big deal in a Catholic family, especially in an Italian household. Communion is an important family celebration, and I was receiving the Eucharist for the first time, the sharing of the bread and wine (grape juice).
So my Mom worked so hard making all the wonderful homemade Italian dishes for all the family and friends who would be coming to the Communion ceremony as well as the party afterwards. My Dad was so proud of his homemade wine he was going to serve!! I had a beautiful white dress and veil, shiny white patent leather shoes with ruffle socks – so all was ready to go!!
There was just one little problem – I did most of the translating for my family as they were fluent in Italian and didn’t speak much English – and I gave the WRONG TIME as to when the big event would start!! You would have thought that someone would have checked that out and not have taken just my word for it – being as I was a young child! But… we arrived at the church to an empty parking lot, and we asked ourselves, “Where are all the cars and the guests?”
A nun ran out to us and said, “Oh, you missed the Communion – that was an hour ago. Do you want to speak to the priest?” So, we said, “Yes!” The nun took us to the rectory, right next to the church (Precious Blood Catholic Church in Detroit) where the priests lived. We rang the bell – scary! I was in tears; my sister, Clara, (God rest her soul) was 17 years older than me and like a mom, she talked to the priest. I continued to sob the entire time with tears running down my cheeks. The priest said, “You can still take your Communion today with either a wedding or a funeral, your choice.” So Clara looked down at me and asked me which one. Through my sobs and mumbles, I said, “wedding” but for some reason, Clara understood “FUNERAL”!! So there we were – my mom in tears, my dad in tears, all of us with sad faces – ushered into the front seat of the church next to the mourning family at a funeral. Yes, that’s right, at a funeral. That’s where I sat by myself for my First Holy Communion! There I was, sitting in the front row in tears, while the priest spread that horrible smelling incense.
Oh my, so afterwards we went back to our house, and although it was really a very sad experience, the party was fun! Italians sure do know how to have a party, and people were happy — although that’s probably why I still hate the smell of “incense”!!
I sure hope this brought a smile to your face, and I really hope you had a good chuckle!
Until next time, friends.