Here's a picture of the young lady in all her finery just before mass:
Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for the money and note - Gracie was excited to buy a purse and a special prayer book (it has a space to record all of her sacrament information & has all of the traditional prayers and order of the mass, with the new wording).
At our church they celebrate First Holy Communion at all of the masses during May, and you get to pick your date. Gracie picked well - she was the only one at this Sunday mass! I'm sure that might have made some kids nervous, but not Gracie. I think she actually loved having the front pew all to herself (free of pestering siblings, right?) and we were all right behind her.
Father Mel did a great job making it a special day - Gracie got to receive the Body and Blood by herself, before anyone else in the congregation came forward. First the Body of Christ from Father Mel and then the Blood of Christ from Mr. Scot, the director of religious ed. Mr. Scot did a great job practicing with the kids, and it was really nice that he served at all of the masses (3 every weekend) throughout May to help make the kids more comfortable.
Now when I was a kid, pictures were a big no-no in church, but I guess times are a-changin'. Father Mel took the time to make sure we were ready to take pictures. I thought I was, but clearly, I'm not the best photographer! It's really nice to have the photos though and I am glad we could take them.
At the end of mass, Father Mel called Gracie up for a certificate and then to have her help bless the items we brought to be blessed. Oh ... ooops - we forgot about that & hadn't actually opened any of her gifts that could have been blessed. Well, her prayer book got blessed and Father said it was a "full-service" blessing and would be good for any items that we had at home as well. He also got her to commit to being an altar server (which she is excited about). And then she walked out at the end of mass with Father Mel
After mass, Mom, Carolyn, Mike's Aunt Cathy and his cousin Anne were all able to come back to our house and we had a big brunch. And then lots of nice gifts from so many people (a First Communion banner made by Aunt Carolyn, a necklace from Jerusalem from Uncle Scott, a St. Grace medal from Mike's cousin Janice, just to name a few). It was a great celebration of such an important day for Gracie.
And it seems like it was just a short while ago that we were celebrating her baptism...