First Communion Nightmare

My mom was raised Catholic and she agreed to raise her children as Catholics. The only caveat was that she did not want us to go to parochial school. In order for us to fulfill her agreement, we were required to attend Saturday Catechism classes until we were through the eighth grade.

This became more complicated when we wanted to take our first communion. We were required to attend Parochial school for two weeks to prepare ourselves for the big event.

Everything about school at St. Peter’s was different than my third-grade classroom at public school. Our class was taught by a Nun in full habit rather than our “normal” looking teacher. The class was learning to write in cursive. We had not started this yet at public school.

I remember doing fine writing my cursive alphabet until I came to the small “Q”. I couldn’t see any difference between the small G and the small Q. Try as hard as I could it made no sense. Much to my embarrassment, the Nun came over, took my hand with the oversized pencil in it, and drew the cursive “Q” over and over. At last, I could see (feel) the difference. By this time my face was beet red and many of the children were laughing. I felt humiliated. The Nun assured me it was OK and shushed the laughing classroom.

Next, I learned that we had to stay at school for lunch. I liked to go home for lunch. Not today. The rule in the cafeteria was that you didn’t throw away food. You ate everything on your plate. The vegetable de jour was cooked spinach. I could not stand cooked spinach. The girl next to me gobbled down her helping. I asked her if she would please eat my spinach too.

She explained very curtly that it would be a sin to eat more food when she was already full. Oh boy, what a pile of malarkey. I took my napkin, wrapped up the spinach and put it in my pocket. I returned my plate to the kitchen and hurried outside for lunch recess. I hurriedly dumped the napkin in the trash. One bullet dodged.

We also got up earlier than usual to attend Mass every day of that two weeks. I had to keep reminding myself of the beautiful white dress and communion veil that mom and I had picked out. As much as I wanted to earn the right to wear that dress and veil. I also wanted to join with my family and my classmates to remember how Jesus sacrificed for us by dying on the cross. At our First Communion we ate together at church just like Jesus did with His disciples the night before he died. I wanted to continue to eat this special meal of bread and wine (or grape juice) to always remember Him. With His death, Jesus was making the way for us to go to heaven with Him.

When the Nun, and later my mom, explained this to me, I thought it was an amazing sacrifice and could understand that it was important to be very serious when we’re taking communion. I realized this was a special time to worship and remember.

First Communion, for me, was the first rite of passage that I remembered well. I learned to make the small letter “Q” in cursive, how to not eat spinach at lunch, and to pay attention in Mass every day.

Most of all, I learned to understand the true meaning of being a follower of Jesus Christ. I learned that taking Holy Communion is a time to pray and thank God for His love and for sending His Son Jesus for us. I think that two weeks of preparation served a beautiful purpose.

Who is Judy

Click here to check out other Sidetracked opinions

Click here to listen to the Sidetracked Legacies podcast

#sidetrackedsisters #sidetrackedjudy #sidetrackedlegacies #legacywriting #legacystories #writeyourownlegacy #learningcursive #cookedspinach #myfirstcommunion #firstcommunion #communion #church #faith

Want to create your own legacy? Join the Sidetracked Sisters and start now!

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.