Showing posts with label Confirmation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Confirmation. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Outstanding Gifts for First Communions and Confirmations

April and May are the typical months for many "spiritual" exercises in the Roman Catholic Church, so let's review some appropriate and outstanding gifts for these special occasions!

gifts for religious occasions, Holy Communion, Confirmation,
Spring is that time of renewal and rebirth!  Everything seems to be coming to life again and so with Easter behind us, it's time to help our youngsters grow in their faith too!

Along with the profession of their First Communions and/or Confirmations, many families opt to host a small party for the child who is taking this big step.  Often times if you are invited to this kind of celebration, it is difficult to know what an appropriate gift would be for the child. As the parent and grandparent of a few children that have made this testament to their faith,  I can help you out!

Holy Communions and Confirmations are religious events,  unlike birthdays or other celebrations.  Gifts should be in keeping with the tone of the event.  For parents and grandparents, they may choose to give the child a Prayer Book and/or Rosary.  A nice cross on a chain for them to wear would also be appropriate.  Other invited guests may choose monetary gifts because they have no idea what an appropriate gift would be.

I like to give books and believe firmly that a child will enjoy a book given for a special occasion and maybe even treasure that book well into their adult life.  To that end, I'm going to suggest a  book that I really like and would be lovely for either First Communion or Confirmation


Brother Sun and Sister Moon is an adaptation from St. Francis of Assisi's song to God, by Katherine Paterson!  The original version was written in 1227!  This particular book has beautiful illustrations that are actually hand cut outs of paper by Pamela Dalton.  Each picture is a marvel in and of itself. This book is wonderful in both content and design.  The gorgeous pictures and beautiful words,  will be a nice reminder for any child of that special day in their lives. The illustrations are just so well done and an art form that we don't see too much of.  I had seen this book at the library, and I was taken by surprise at the beauty of the illustrations.  Mind you, I also happen to love St. Francis of Assisi!  He is the patron saint of gardeners (my other passion) and naturalists. 

The Bible Made Easy - for Kids,  is a great starting point for dialogue about faith.  When the children read what is happening in the Bible stories,  in language that they understand, discussion about faith topics is so much easier!  The Bible (while wonderful in its original form) is not a book that is easily understood.  Giving children the opportunity to read the stories and understand their meanings is a great way to start some interesting discussions about the life and faith lessons that we need to learn.

Encouraging children to read and ask questions makes their faith life come alive.  It's not just something they do on Sundays anymore. 

So let me see if I can make it even easier for you to decide on the appropriate gift!  Here's a list that works for me:

Holy Communion or Confirmation Gifts:

1.  Faith based books! (Geared to the age of the child)
2.  Cross for Child's room
3.  Bookmarks with spiritual sayings
4.  Picture frame for the "Special Day Photo"
5.  Rosary (if they are Catholics, you can never have just one!)
6.  Necklace or charm with a religious tone (angels, wings, crosses etc.)
7.  Small statue of their favorite saint or namesake.
8.  Donation to a favorite charity in the name of the child.
9.  Child friendly Bible
10.Gratitude Journal

These are just my suggestions, I'm sure that you can come up with more! Teaching and passing on the faith we believe in is part of our duty as parents.  Milestones in that faith formation should be celebrated with loved ones.  Truly, it is home where our sense of faith begins and it is home where milestones should be celebrated too.
Holy Communion gifts, religious gifts, faith based gifts from family

You can read more about these sacraments and appropriate gifts in another review I did a few years ago.  Click Right Here and read some more if you feel so inclined!  Bless you all!




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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Review This! Celebrations of Holy Communion and Confirmation

Introduction:

Have you ever been invited to a celebration of Faith?  I'd like to take you on a journey to Review two of the most important sacraments in a Catholic child's faith journey.  You may be invited to share in this celebration and this "Review This" is to help you recognize the celebration as well as appropriate gifts to mark this important occasion.

Holy Communion and Confirmation, What are they?


Late March, April, and May are traditional months for Catholics to Celebrate the Sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation.  

For many families,  it will be a time of fellowship not only with their church community but also with parents and grandparents, who will be pleased to see their children growing in their spiritual formation.



Catholic children around the age of eight or nine will begin to learn about the sacrament of  Holy Communion.  They will learn about the meaning behind the sacrament and all the symbolism that is contained within the celebration of Mass every week.

They will learn about Jesus, his life,  his death and his Ressurrection, and the promise to return again.  They will also learn that Jesus loves them in a way that is beyond comprehension. For Adult Catholics it's a time to remember and relive the beauty of receiving Communion for the first time ever.  It's also a great time to help our youngsters learn to live the Gospels, to live the way we were taught by the actions and the life of Jesus.  It is also a time to explain to our children that living as Christians is not an easy task.  That they will work at being good Christians every day of their lives, and that it should be a life lived in Joy!

 

What is the purpose of the Sacraments?


Jesus loves each one of us, just the way we are!  We need to learn how to love everyone in the same way. That is what we are called to do if we want to live truly Christian lives.  We will fail many times, and that's when Communion becomes especially important.  We come back to God, asking for His strength and His courage to become more and more like Him.  We need that courage and strength so that we can look at all of our brothers and sisters with the same loving eyes that our God sees them.  It's not easy to do, but with the sacraments that continue to nourish our souls, we will gain that strength that we need.

Children are such wonderful examples for us! As we get older, we tend to become more jaded. Our many disappointments in life sometimes take their toll on our spirits.  That is why it's important for us to help our children.  In helping them to celebrate these milestones, we are reminded of God's love for us too.  Even though we are grown up in mind and body, we are still children of the Almighty and he loves us as a Perfect Father would.  Sharing the sacraments with our children helps us to remember what we are called to do as followers of Christ!


Confirmation, Growth in the Spirit of God


The Sacrament of Confirmation is done when the children are a little older.  Children are usually about 12 or 13 years of age. This sacrament mirrors the Jewish Bar/Bat/Mitzvah (when the young people are seen as old enough to read the Scriptures). After all, Christianity has its roots in the Jewish Faith, so this is the Catholic sacrament of a "coming of age".  Our children are now seen as old enough to accept the faith that we have kindled in them through their younger years. It is time for them to decide for themselves, that this is the faith that they will accept for their lives.   Parents accepted the duty to teach their children the faith when they were Baptized. Now, at this time in their lives,  they stand on their own two feet and accept the faith for themselves.  Many people wonder about the taking on of a saint's name as part of this celebration.  Let me explain, children who are on their way to making their Confirmation are encouraged to look to the Saints who have lived a good Christian life.  They take on the name of a Saint that they admire for the way they lived their lives and hopefully will follow in that saint's example on their own journey of faith.


As with any faith celebration,  gifts are usually given to mark this day as a special time in their lives. Appropriate gifts would include a Bible, Prayer Book, Books on the Lives of Saints or Leaders in the Church.  Books that make the young person think about their lives and direction.   There are many really good books that are not "religious" but make the young mind expand in ways that will benefit them. Philosophy books that are great for the soul and make young minds question their lives and their beliefs will hopefully make them grow in their faith journey.  After all, it is a journey that will last for the rest of their lives. We shouldn't stop growing in our faith life, just because we are out of school.  It should be a journey that lasts a long, long time.


Being a Christian is hard work in our everyday world. Encouraging our children to look beyond themselves for guidance is a wonderful way for them to grow in ways that are more than physical. I truly believe that we are spiritual as well as physical. If the religious type of gift suggestions are not to your liking, the books by Chesterton or C.S. Lewis are great books for anyone to read. You don't have to be Christian or Catholic to get something out of them. They are classic reading for everyone.

My hope is that this Review will help you if you should ever find yourself invited to a celebration of faith for someone you care about.  Please bookmark this Review so that when your invitation arrives, you will be prepared to help the child celebrate His/Her growth in the Spirit of Christ.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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