We have been invited to the first Holy Communion of a friend's DD. It is a bit of a surprise invite as these are quite new friends. We are not Catholic, but we would like to go to support them and their DD.
Can anyone tell me what to expect please? Will we be required to do anything in the church, or just watch proceedings? And what kind of dress code will it be? - obviously smart, but wedding smart or Sunday best smart?
I agree. Sunday best smart. There may be people dressed wedding smart but the vast majority will be in summer dresses or trousers/smart jeans and shirts.
The church may have leaflets/books for you to follow the service and hymn books if you want to join in with the singing. In terms of standing up, sitting down etc just follow the congregation - as long as you're not sat in the front row you will be able to see what everyone else is doing. Take a couple of coins as there may be a collection. (If the communions are part of the normal Sunday service then there will be a collection. My church does them as a special service and don't have a collection). When the congregation are invited up for Communion then you can either sit quietly in your pew or go up for a blessing. This means that you stand in front of the priest with your arms crossed over your chest (like on a water slide ) - he'll say a short blessing and you move away back to your seat. There are bound to be many people doing either of these so please don't feel that you will stand out. Do whatever you feel most comfortable with.
Buy a card and put some cash in it. My DS is making his this month and I fully expect him to get cash rather than rosaries, missals etc. if people are kind enough to give him anything. Even my daily-Mass-going mum bungs a tenner in a card.
Stand up and sit down with everyone else. You don't need to do the kneeling bit, just sit down. You will notice the RCs doing a sort of curtsey before they sit down, don't worry about it you don't need to do it.
If someone thrusts a hand at you shake it and say 'peace be with you'.
If the priest knows there are a few non RCs then he may do a bit of a commentary on what is happening and why.
If you do 'go up' for a blessing do remember to cross your arms, my family is about 50/50 RC but several members have received communion by accident.