Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Elizabeth Ann Marie's First Holy Communion

April 7, 2013
Divine Mercy Sunday
Annunciation Catholic Church

This day was in the making for many months.  I had hoped that Ellie would be able to receive her First Holy Communion back at our home parish in Houston where all her family could attend.  After having a very successful interview with the pastor, it worked out that she was able to receive there on Divine Mercy Sunday (just like her big sister) with 5 other homeschooled children, 4 of them who are close friends from our old homeschooling group, and the other who was a sweet friend during our time living in College Station. What a blessing!

We spent the night before with their cousins and woke early Sunday morning, ready for the glorious day.  I went out and got some Shipley's donuts and kolaches.  About an hour before it was time to leave, I curled Ellie's hair and helped her get all prettied up to meet Jesus!  She looked angelic.  If you missed it, here is the link to the post about her dress and the sleeves I added.



We arrived to the church early, before the previous mass had let out.  We enjoyed visiting with friends and family and the other First Communicants who started to arrive!








Three of the older brothers served at the altar during the Mass.  It was such a special time for all the families!  I felt a bit more frantic during this Mass because Thomas was getting fussy and Steven Joseph was out-of-sorts, too.  We had the communicants bring up the gifts for the offertory, and Ellie got to hold the cruet of wine!  My camera decided not to work for that part.  As the time for Holy Communion arrived, one of the brothers opened the beautiful brass gate (another holding the paten here in the photo), and the children lined up first to receive Our Lord.  I rushed up discreetly to the communion rail to get pictures.

And here is Ellie's special moment receiving Our Lord in her First Holy Communion!

Here are the kids with some of their cousins, most of whom had to rush off to sports practices.  We were grateful they made it to the Mass.

Sweet girlfriends in the courtyard while I was on the other side of the fence!

The five First Communicants from our homeschooling group.  When we joined the group, Ellie wasn't even born!  When we became active after our move back from College Station, she and these other little ones were only toddlers.  They have grown up together and we were blessed to share this day with them!


With a sleeping toddler and a black-eyed dazed preschooler, the family photo was less-than stellar.


Siblings and good friends!


and another version...

With Msgr. G.  He is a wonderful priest and we are grateful he allowed Ellie to receive there and for all these children to receive together at this Mass.


 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After much deliberation on how to plan a reception at a church that doesn't have a hall, with over 60 people, four of the families decided to reserve a room at the Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant a few blocks away for a wonderful celebration after the Mass.  My mom made lovely centerpieces with favors (gumballs and pens), and she printed and framed a baptismal photo of Ellie.  Thank you, Mom!  They were beautiful!



We ordered matching cakes in different flavors from my favorite bakery!  Ellie chose red velvet.

The children sat together and enjoyed lots of laughs, most of them enjoying their fettuccine alfredo.



The table with all the cakes. There was Ellie's red velvet, C's white (reminiscent of our dear friend Kelly who I'm sure was with us in spirit), J's chocolate, and the other J's lemon.  They were delicious!!!

Ellie's mementos, gifts, veil, and purse.  She received some lovely jewelry and prayer cards.


Steven with our goddaughter, Cecilia.  Her pink smocked dress just melts me; what a doll!  It was nice spending some time with our friends, with Steven there too.  Many of our visits with our Houston friends include just the kids and me while Steven is working.  Several friends have planned some visits in the coming months, so we hope that works out!


We had a special prayer for the communicants and prayed the Anima Christi, lighting the childrens' baptismal candles.  Unfortunately, we didn't know to bring Ellie's candle, so she used a plain pillar candle which she now plans to keep as a memento.



Silly girls! The restaurant has some beautiful antique decor, some that appears to have come from churches...stained glass, pews, artwork, etc.





Ellie was ready to change into comfortable clothes, although she was not happy that it was time for the long drive home.  She is one who gets really sentimental after fun times with our family and friends.  A few tears were shed, but lots of special memories will stay in her heart forever!

Precious Elizabeth,
This weekend held a pivotal moment of your spiritual journey.  The joy that Jesus gave you on this special weekend is just a small taste of the joy to come.  We pray that you come to know Our Lord more deeply every day and bask in His graces each time you receive Him.  We love you very much and are so proud of you.
Love,
Mommy and Daddy

8 comments:

Kari said...

Beautiful little girl, beautiful name, beautiful day for her, and a beautiful dress! Did you order that dress online? It's so lovely.

Lindsey Wilson said...

So beautiful! I love your reflections and all the great photos! I'm afraid I won't do that well in a few weeks when it's Damian's turn. However, I pray that he and Ellie have a wonderful first of MANY MANY Holy Communions. :) God bless her!

Lena said...

Deo gratias! Ellie was glowing. Her dress turned out lovely with your sleeve additions. The reception was spectacular and your mom's creations were sweet. BLESSED!

Rebekah Es said...

What a beautiful day and what a beautiful daughter! I cannot get over how similar she looks to my own AnneMarie last year: same blond hair pulled back in front and then curled, similar dress from BCF, similar headress with crown in front and long and flowy in the back, exact same shoes, similar bracelet. I just wish I had thought of the cap sleeves and she hadn't had to have worn the bolero for mass. Blessing to her and the joy she is sure to find in her continued communion.

JulieC said...

How beautiful!!! I remember Ellie in the belly. What a special day for her, and all of them to treasure forever in their hearts. They are truly blessed to share the day with such great friends. I'm so glad you were able to come back for this. I know how special it was for you. Tell her we are so excited for her and truly celebrate her joy with her!!!

Nancy Bandzuch said...

Holy Moly. You did such a beautiful job capturing the day. Oh my. I have been staring at these pictures for like 20 minutes now! Such a joyful day!

I should introduce myself. I'm nancy, and I blog over at www.dosmallthingswithlove.com. I am a fellow catholic blogger, and have been enjoying your blog for some time now. I just wanted you to join a facebook group I started for catholic bloggers. It is just a place to meet people, support each other and form a community. I'd love it if you'd be part of it.

Think about it, and email me if you are interested:
nancy(dot)verly(at)gmail(dot)com

roxan silva said...

What a beautiful story. May I ask how you were able to find/arrange for one of our Catholic churches to allow you to teach and then they would give her the sacrament of holy communion? This is how I was raised but I received my first communion in the Philippines. It would mean the world to me if I could pass on to my twins this gift just like my father did for me. Thanks for any help.

roxan silva said...

What a beautiful story. May I ask how you were able to find/arrange for one of our Catholic churches to allow you to teach and then they would give her the sacrament of holy communion? This is how I was raised but I received my first communion in the Philippines. It would mean the world to me if I could pass on to my twins this gift just like my father did for me. Thanks for any help.

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