First Communion is a momentous event in the religious life of a child, and most parents like to commemorate the occasion with a gathering of their friends, relatives and religious leaders. Parents might have difficulty planning a party for a First Communion since it is such a distinctive occasion, but several ideas can help make party planning for the event easier.
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Time and Place
First Communion parties typically occur directly after the church service at which the ceremony takes place, usually at a Sunday morning church service. Thus, the most practical idea is to have the party midday on Sunday, so guests can go to the event straight from the church and a luncheon can be served. There are many different options when it comes to where to hold the First Communion party, and deciding the location really just depends on the type of affair the parents wish to have. If the party is to include a large number of guests, usually including many of the church's parishioners, parents may opt to hold the party in the church's banquet hall. Party ideas for a smaller crowd include having the party at the parents' home or at a restaurant.
Since most First Communion parties take place near lunchtime, a luncheon buffet is an ideal choice when it comes to food. If the party is to take place at a banquet hall, parents may opt to have the food catered since transporting food from home and cooking for a crowd can be rather stressful. If the party is in the home of the parents, then a homemade menu is ideal. Popular food ideas for the party include tea sandwiches, hot appetizers like meatballs, egg rolls, taquitos, a cheese and cracker tray, fruit tray, veggies and dip, and chips and dip. Parents should be sure to include plenty of kid-friendly food on the menu at a First Communion party since the event is in celebration of the child's achievement. A cake is typically served for dessert at First Communion parties, and most bakeries have different design options from which to choose for a First Communion. First Communion cakes are usually large sheet cakes with white icing decorated with a large cross, the child's name and some type of message including a reference to Holy Communion.
Since First Communion parties often include a large number of children, the friends and relatives of the guest of honor, a good party idea is to have a few children's activities and games planned to keep the younger crowd entertained. Party games could be religious in nature--for instance, a trivia game on the things learned by the guest of honor and his friends in preparation for Holy Communion--or simply standard party games like a scavenger hunt, Simon Says and musical chairs. Parents should introduce games during lulls in activity or whenever the younger guests seem restless or bored.
Gifts are traditionally given to the communicant at a First Communion party and are normally of a religious nature. Popular party ideas in regard to gifts include religious jewelry such as cross necklaces, rosaries, personalized Bibles, plaques commemorating the occasion and prayer books. Parents may include gift opening as part of the party activities, so the guest of honor can personally thank all those who took the time and effort to attend her special celebration.