Monday, May 7, 2012

Family First Communion Photo Anthology

Receiving First Holy Communion is a Catholic right of passage. It's also a Sacrament, of course!

As my son travels this journey (he received his First Holy Communion yesterday, May 6!) I'm reminded of the fact that this was an incredibly important event for each of my siblings and me. It was as if we'd finally reached the age when we could be trusted at the adult table at Church. No more kiddie blessings passed out to us when we marched up to the altar with our parents at mass. No sir, we were BIG TIME!

Connor has reminded me of how this Sacrament required the entire family to dress up and celebrate with whomever was receiving Communion for the first time. In my family it also meant we could have dinner out!

I remember our whole troupe hitting White's Chicken Little on West Avenue in Jackson after my First Holy Communion. I felt so lucky to be out on the town in my swingy, white dress and shiny white shoes. It was as if the whole world knew that I was doing something special. Could they tell just by looking at me that I just drank wine from the chalice? In my case, probably, I'm certain to have spilled it on that white outfit...I wasn't the most tidy little angel! And, if the wine stain on my frock wasn't enough, let's be honest, even in 1975, a little girl wearing all white with a veil on her head at Chicken Little with her eight siblings was a dead giveaway that SOMETHING SPECIAL was going on!

I'd love to share stories from each and every First Holy Communion...but instead I'm just going to give you a short (okay, as short as possible with all of these people to include!) and sweet review of Connor's family history when it comes to this most exciting of all Sacraments (it does involve both a snack and a drink, that qualifies as excitement in my book!). Sit back and enjoy!

1963 - John Joseph Fitzgerald Jr.

1964 - Patrick Michael Fitzgerald

1965 - Marian Marie Fitzgerald

1966 - Mark Timothy Fitzgerald

1967 - Gregory Charles Fitzgerald (note that I'm that adorable baby being squeezed to death by my brother John!)

1971 - Steven David Fitzgerald (First appearance of mom and dad in a Communion celebration photo, someone in the family was finally old enough to be trusted with the camera! Love the tilted kid angle of this photo!)

1975 - Maureen Anne Fitzgerald (...and we've got Kodachrome! Oldest brother John is missing in this photo; he had already joined the Marines and shipped out. We never got all nine of us in one of my mom's command photo ops at a First Holy Communion. Bummer.)

Here's a second photo from my 1975 First Communion (Hush it, family members, it's my blog! Besides, who would want to deny the world another view of the 70s era fashion sported by my parents? Yes, folks, mom's in stripes and dad's in plaid. And, I'm in a smocked, sheer fabric, fairy dress, very hippy-esque! Note that Colleen and I had just recovered from the chicken pox and my mother had cropped our bangs in order for the scabs on our faces to begin healing. Never fear, she knew enough to leave the mullet in back! Party on....).

1975 - Richard Joseph Penn (I had to include Rick too. Connor loves this photo of his dad looking so prayerful, but with a well used basketball hoop within sight! Classic Rick...)

1978 - Colleen Mary Fitzgerald (...and now we have instant photography, thanks to Polaroid! Oh, and I couldn't resist posting both of these photos. First ever cutesy pose in our family album, Colleen with her little prayer book, and then the infamous family pose.)

1981 - Marcia Annette Fitzgerald (In a horrible twist of fate, we can't find the album from the First Communion year for Marcia, the youngest child, of whom there are thousands of photos. Somewhere along the line that album was borrowed out for some reason and hasn't found its way back to my brother's basement where the rest of the family photos are currently stored. Just another reminder of how much we all miss our mom!) We did consider using a photo of either Colleen (Marcia wore the same dress and veil) or Reagan (mother and daughter look a lot like each other, if we blurred it a bit ala the early 80s, you wouldn't know!). Instead, we will just all bow our heads in silence and absorb some of Marcia's know how the youngest child in a family of nine can be...she was clearly robbed by all of her older siblings of this one moment of glory! Ha!

TODAY - Connor John and Reagan Jacqueline (first cousins) shared the spotlight and many giggles when we had these photos taken by our friends from Flourish Photography at our Church a few weeks before their actual First Holy Communion. What a change from our heritage of hastily snapped photos complete with awkward looks and closed eyes, but what a relief for us that we didn't have to worry about pretty photos at the Church after the service!

Congratulations to my little First Communicant (and to his cousin too!) taking a big step in what I hope is a lifelong Faith journey. Bless you!