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What do Catholics think about making First Holy Communion at 8 years old?

(35 Posts)
PrincessFiorimonde Wed 24-Apr-13 23:55:58

I'm a lapsed Catholic. My brother and sister-in-law are believers. I respect their beliefs, although I don't share them. But my niece is shortly due to make her First Holy Communion. If you are a Catholic, you will know that she will be dressed in white, probably wearing a veil, looking like 'a little bride of Christ'. She is 8 years old, and (in my opinion) obviously too young to decide anything for herself apart from trying to please her parents on this score.

I'm uneasy about this. Of course, I won't say anything directly, as she is not my child.

But, really, is this the right thing to do for a child at such a young age?

PrincessFiorimonde Tue 30-Apr-13 22:33:44



I am really sorry to hear you had such a difficult time over this. And I don't wish to upset the other thoughtful people who've taken the trouble to post on this thread - but I can see your point very clearly about not wanting to feel 'other' from your family at such a young age. I wish I had words to help how hard that must have been for you.

I hope you are in a happier place now.

ICBINEG Wed 01-May-13 00:49:38

Thank you - I am....although apparently a thread like this can get me stupidly worked up again. I should know better and stay away from this whole area....

Sorry for derailing, I hope you found some clarity.

sieglinde Wed 01-May-13 12:20:06

ICB, huge hugs. I think it's brave of you to say all this. FWIW, I think my dcs know that I would/will love them to bits whatever faith - or lack of faith - they espouse, but I also accept that they are wired to please me.

I'm also really sorry you feel so damaged - that's the part I don't quite understand from my experience. IMHO, quite a lot of childhood is pretence - not telling granny she is boring, pretending to like improving walks better than tv... I don't think I feel damaged by any of this. I just shrugged and said, life, huh? Not perfect... grin But I totally see that YMMV.

ICBINEG Wed 01-May-13 12:26:28

Maybe it is just a personality thing...I have always cared far to much what other people think. I have recently found myself lying to all and sundry about how well work is going...and feeling the old dread of not being the person I know I 'should' be....

FWIW I am sure that some kids do have deep faith...and I think they would probably find it even if no-one showed them...I just believe that everyone should have the space to work out the most deeply personal aspects of themselves without being told again and again what the acceptable answers are.

I wonder if we couldn't produce a generation of adults who were truly more centred and self-confident if we stopped telling are children who they should be and creating conflict. Of course that would involve banning advertising, as well as church etc. so it might be tricky.

sieglinde Wed 01-May-13 13:35:07

ICB, I think we ALL care what people think, and I am a champion fibber about how life is going, mainly because I don't like asking people for anything. But maybe because my parents were different denominations I always felt free to walk away form being RC - and I did walk away for some years.

Totally agree. IMHO commerce is now probably a bigger and more grinding threat to children than most religion.

MareeyaDolores Wed 01-May-13 13:46:17

Thanks ICB, for the input from another viewpoint.
Not worried by DS, he was wanting FHC for himself, but I will take extra care with dd as she might well be at risk of wanting to people-please

sieglinde Wed 01-May-13 14:59:36

Maree, my sense is that the people-pleasing stuff wears off quite fast unless reinforced by real nagging or worry by parents.

MareeyaDolores Fri 03-May-13 01:19:23

sieglinde, that's probably often true, but clearly there was a problem for icb.

And tbh, 'being told again and again what the acceptable answers are' would be enough to turn anyone sensible off religion entirely,
which is something I really don't want to do...

I want the dc to have real faith that sustains them through life, and if that's not possible, a 'real' agnosticism (or atheism, I suppose), born out of their own deep thought and conscience.

Not for me to overdo 'religion' so they lapse into a lazy, culturally-determined, materialist approach to life, instead of using the brains God gave them wink.

MareeyaDolores Fri 03-May-13 01:19:28

blush BTW, the caricature of that type of non-believing is my fear if I mess up for my dc, rather than a comment on anyone here

LynetteScavo Sun 12-May-13 13:17:44

DD will be making hers while she is still 7. Do I think it,'s too young? Yes. Would I tell her she should wait a year or two while al her friends at school have theirs and she wouldn't be able to take communion while her peers did. No.

I also think confirmation in y6 is too young.....I feel it's only done because they are all about to g off to high school, with maybe only 1 out of 60 DC going to a Catholic high school.

The white dresses don't bother me. I think they look like little girls in white dresses......more like bridesmaids rather than brides. [ hmm]

The priest in the big fat gypsy program was lovely. I could google what it was he said exactly, but he was spot on.

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