struggling with sons holy communion(8 Posts)
Half way through holy communion preparation ( over a total of 8months)... I've been struggling a bit with my own feelings towards the structure and rigidity of it and the focus on 'stuff' rather than proper spirituality. Anyway I decided to just go with it , see what I could learn/process... Then yesterday son tells me he doesn't want to do it anymore... It's boring apparently.
I'm struggling to find words to explain why he should keep doing it - except perhaps that he will be able to receive communion as his friends do. My dh thinks he should do it as he committed to it so shouldn't drop out, and that it will be character forming for him to learn that if you say yes you see it through.
I'm more of the opinion that I want the kids to know that you can change your mind, and I don't want to force him especially when I'm not sure I'm that bothered about him doing it! But I'm also concerned that I'm not giving him that basic grounding in the catholic faith that I had... Do I need to talk to the priest about this? Pullout ? Keep going?? I'm seeing my friends booking party venues and ordering wonderful outfits for them and their kids - They all seem really excited and I feel stressed and concerned about it on another level!
Please share wisdom
I'm not Catholic, so I'm aware I don't understand the religious and cultural significance of First Communion.
I am a member of the Church of England, and the closest comparison I can think of, is if my child was attending confirmation classes, with a view to being confirmed, and decided they did not want to continue with the classes, and did not want to go through with confirmation. In this instance I would certainly not insist they went through with it, as it would seem pointless them making a commitment to join the church if they don't want to/don't have faith. A hollow, meaningless ritual.
If my child had seemed keen up to this point, and/or did profess to have faith, I might encourage them to speak honestly to the vicar about their doubts, if they felt this would help them.
If your son questioning his core Christianity, or simply the rigidity/structure of the classes? Either way, I don't feel you can make him go through with it just to honour the commitment. It's not a school orchestra or a football team.
I wouldn't make him either. But if he was halfway through a football season I'd make him continue with that. There will be other opportunities to teach him about committing to things.
I would talk to him about how big a commitment Holy Communion is and that if he wasn't ready or didn't feel it was the right thing for him to do that is ok.
Not a Catholic either, but I would not want my ds to learn that you should go through a ritual for the sake or appearance of it, rather than because you sincerely believed it was what you wanted, or what your personal faith required of you.
Does he want to take the next step in his faith, or would he rather wait?
How old is he? Is there an opportunity to take a break and come back to the process, or would he have to start again?
He is nowhere near mature enough to be considering how it may affect his development in the faith. He can make his holy communion anytime but this is the only time with his friends.
He goes to catholic school and likes the ethos but is not interested in going to church etc etc so for him it would be meaningless, and for me too - although I love the community aspect of the church - I'm not a fan of the ritual or 'stuff'
Thank you all - you are helping me be clearer about what to do
I also have a son who is currently attending HC classes. Frankly speaking he has no interest in HC or going to church and has no idea what he is doing there, despite of the priest being quite spiritual. But I don't need to explain that this is the thing to do and what everyone in his class is doing and so he has to go through the same way he has to go to school every day. It is not questionable
because we don't want to miss our chance for catholic secondaries .
He does not like going to church either but I told him he can choose for himself when he is old enough (about 12).
I am RC, the Church teaches that FHC and Confirmation are both part of the child's commitment to becoming a full member of the church, therefore I strongly believe that it is the child's decision not the parent's. I think it fundamentally is different to commitments such as football etc because this is a lifelong decision, you can leave a team the following season but you can never undo this even though you can lapse. Also this is as much a commitment to himself and his faith as it is to the church so it is deeply personal in a way that sports etc aren't.
Loads of children go along with the Sacramental programme because it is the thing to do and all their friends are so I feel your son's decision is really brave and I am sure the priest and catechists will respect this.
He has his whole life to make this decision if he wishes, although baptised as a tiny baby I did not make my FHC or be confirmed till I was an adult so not now does not necessarily mean never.
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