Amelia celebrated her First Communion on May 1st at St. Albert the Great Catholic church in Sun Prairie. They had a retreat for the kids the day before, where they practiced what would happen during the mass, and they had a chance to taste a non-consecrated host and wine. Amelia was reluctant to try the wine, but the youth leader said that all the kids had to try it. Here is her reaction:
They had a conversation afterwards about whether the kids had to drink the wine during the First Communion mass. Because of the way everything was arranged, there really was no way to skip the wine, but the youth leader said that as long as the kids were respectful about taking the cup and raising it to their lips, they didn't actually have to open their lips and swallow any wine. Amelia said that the host tasted like cardboard (which I think is exactly what I said about it when I was in second grade) and that the wine tasted "really yucky, like rotten grape juice". In fact, she wanted to know why anyone would ever want to drink it for fun. Hope she continues to feel like that about alcohol as she grows up!
Mom and Dad came up for the weekend, and Becky and Brian drove up with their kids just for the day. It was nice to have some our family here to celebrate Amelia's special day. Thanks for making the trip, everyone! I made them all hang around after the mass so that we could get a picture of everyone together. It took a while because lots of families were trying to take photos all over the church, but everyone waited very patiently and smiled very nicely when told to. And we didn't even have to bribe them with candy. It's getting a little easier to get a nice photo of our kids together!
Amelia and I had to show up early so that the kids could practice one last time before mass started. They were told to walk very slowly down the center aisle, and Amelia was worried that her partner would walk too fast (her partner was a boy, and he did walk too fast). She takes instructions very seriously and was a little nervous that she would mess up, but you can see that she was excited:
They took a few group photos before mass, too. Amelia didn't know any of the boys, but a few of her friends from Girl Scouts are in the photo below. A couple of her other friends from school had done First Communion the previous weekend. It's really nice that some of her friends from school also go to our church.
We had a row reserved for our family on the side of church, so it was a little difficult to see the kids processing into church, but Ben did get a few photos (sometimes being tall has its advantages):
Father Terry called the kids up to the altar during mass to renew their baptismal vows, and also to introduce them to the congregation. I thought it was nice that they had the kids respond to the baptismal vows.
Amelia was very excited to receive First Communion, and she is looking forward to the next time we go to church so that she can go up and have communion with all the grownups. They went to Jeff and Jane's church last weekend, and I forgot to ask if they had communion during that service.
She wore the silver cross necklace that Mom and Dad had given her for her baptism, and Father Terry blessed it after mass. Becky and I bought the dress together, hoping that Natalie could wear it next year, and Megan the year after. I made Amelia's flower wreath at the last minute, and we had to add a white shrug because it was really cold outside and all First Communion dresses are sleeveless. Along with her "praying hands", Amelia is wearing a very serious smile, befitting this very important occasion.