Sunday, May 7, 2017

Alana's First Communion Day

God bless my granddaughter, Alana,
who celebrated her First Holy Communion, Saturday,
 at St. Mary's RC Church, Pompton Lakes, NJ.

Alana Dulce Muniz

The following poem goes back, back, back in time 
to when my sister Carol and me
celebrated our First Communion in 1950.


It was a long, long time ago, but
I remember as if it were yesterday—
My sister Carol was six; I was seven
Viola, my mother's best friend
sewed lovely white dresses for us
Mine had a bodice of white embroidered flowers
and a shimmery organdy skirt
Carol's, just the opposite
had an organdy bodice and flowery skirt
We wore crinoline slips
and pristine white stockings
shiny white Mary Janes
and tulle veils adorned with sprigs
of lily of the valley at the crown

Carol and I practiced walking
with hands in prayer
down the long church aisle
to receive the Little White Host
at the altar rail

We each nervously whispered
our first confession to the priest
in a dark confessional
the size of a small closet
We said the Act of Contrition
received absolution
and prayed our penance prayers
all in anticipation
of our First Communion Day

…but, my sister became ill
She had the measles
so I received my First Communion
without her, but with all the other
First Communicant boys and girls
of St. Bonaventure Roman Catholic Church

We were well prepared—
schooled in the liturgy
the songs and prayers
Most importantly, we all truly loved Jesus

As I sat, quiet and still
like a pure wingless angel
in the old wooden pew
gazing at the stained glass windows
listening to the Latin Mass
and the ringing of the Offertory chimes
my stomach began to feel queasy
I had fasted, as was the custom
from midnight, the night before—
the first fast of my life
so I thought I was just hungry
but I developed chills and felt faint
and wanted to go home

Nevertheless, I said the prayers
and sang the songs
and received the precious Holy Bread
from the hand of the priest
upon my tongue, happy
that Jesus now lived inside of me

After Mass was over
I went home and straight to bed
Little red spots dotted my face and body
…Measles, of course

Two Sundays later
Carol and I dressed up
in our beautiful white finery--
Two healthy little brides of Christ
and received Holy Eucharist, together

Maude Carolan Pych


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