Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Susana
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Posted: April 14 2009 at 3:53pm | IP Logged Quote Susana

My first born will be making his First Holy Communion May 3rd and what is custom at our parish is the FHC parents getting together and hosting a party at the parish hall afterward. This will be my first time doing this, and from what I'm told, it seems like it will be a little stressful. I know that my son will enjoy celebrating with his fellow communicants, so I'm looking for ideas to suggest how to make things less work on that day so we are just able to enjoy with our children and focus on them.

I'm told that the mom's of the FHC's will decorate and set up the buffet, clean up, serve if needed, warm food, etc.. and that the dad's will be grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.. The whole parish is invited and they are asked to bring a side.

I would rather just have a bunch of pizzas delivered, that way there's no heating of the food, less clean up, and dad can hang out with our son instead of hanging out at the grill.

Do you have any suggestions of what to do? I don't want to offend anyone at the church, but I was asked if I had any suggestions. Thanks!
-Susana

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JodieLyn
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Posted: April 14 2009 at 4:09pm | IP Logged Quote JodieLyn

hot dogs can be boiled and kept hot in crock pots..

I would be sure there was paper plates and plastic forks etc.

there must be a way to cook burgers ahead and just keep them hot

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Elena
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Posted: April 14 2009 at 4:24pm | IP Logged Quote Elena

As a mom who has done 5 First Communion parties to date - I think the parish idea sounds pretty good!!

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Bridget
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Posted: April 14 2009 at 4:28pm | IP Logged Quote Bridget

It sounds like a nice tradition!

Bring sloppy joes, prepared ahead of time and kept warm in a crock pot. You can assemble a plate of them at the beginning of the party (I cut a bunch in half for littles) then you and your husband are free to enjoy the party.



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SuzanneG
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Posted: April 14 2009 at 6:56pm | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

Susana wrote:
I'm told that the mom's of the FHC's will decorate and set up the buffet, clean up, serve if needed, warm food, etc.. and that the dad's will be grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.. The whole parish is invited and they are asked to bring a side.

Ugh. Those days are hectic (but wonderful, don't get me wrong ) enough without having the parents of the sacrament-recipients having to host a party on top of it all.    They're kidding, right?   

At our parish, the parents of LAST YEAR's First Communicants host the get-together afterwards, and the current year's parents are so GRATEFUL for that!

My first reaction is a bit like yours, Susanna.....stressful and not enjoyable.

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SuzanneG
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Posted: April 14 2009 at 7:04pm | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

And, I just looked at the ages of your kids.....similar to ours....there is actually no way my dh would agree to "do" what your parish is suggesting. What in the world are your 5 children (6 and under) supposed to do while you and your husband are grilling hamburgers, decorating a hall and serving food???? Not realistic, unless you have 2 other adults specifially watching and helping your dc. If that were our only option, we wouldn't attend. Or, you could have your dh pop in with your son for 20 minutes, so he can "see" his friends, but we wouldn't all attend if we were expected to host.

I know you're asking for suggestions, and really I don't have any....but strickly pointing out that it's things like this that just aren't family friendly when all you have are "littles" in a crowd, and you are expected to host.

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molly
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Posted: April 14 2009 at 9:06pm | IP Logged Quote molly

We are attending the reception after mass at our parish, I only need to bring a tray of cookies. Others in the parish serve and clean.
Then later we will have friends over for a bonfire and celebrating!

There is no way, if my dc were the ages of yours, I could handle what you are expected to do. Good luck!
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Susana
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Posted: April 15 2009 at 9:01pm | IP Logged Quote Susana

Thank you all for your support and ideas. I talked to another mom today, and she agreed that she wanted to focus more on the children and not running around like crazy that day. We talked about just having drinks and pizza, and we'll see what else. One thing that is definitely out is the grilling! Yay! For a few people, sure, but a few hundred? No thanks! :)

God Bless you all! :)

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Martha
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Posted: April 15 2009 at 9:16pm | IP Logged Quote Martha

oh my.

In the past it's always just been punch and cookies for about 5 minutes after the FHC mass.

Many people have family come out of town for these milestones and they tend to tell their kids to grab and cookie and let's go hang with family, kwim?

No way I would have been able to attend the set up you describe. Sounds horribly stressful. And my dh isn't Catholic, so no way he'd do all that either.

The last couple kids we've done FHC separate from the RE program. They've been first to receive and other than a that it's a Mass like any other. Afterwards we go home to change out of the fancy clothes and then have ice-cream and give the child a religious gift of some sort.

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MaryM
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Posted: April 16 2009 at 1:45am | IP Logged Quote MaryM

SuzanneG wrote:
At our parish, the parents of LAST YEAR's First Communicants host the get-together afterwards, and the current year's parents are so GRATEFUL for that!


In our parish it is the parents of the NEXT year's first communicants (i.e. 1st grade parents) that host the reception afterwards. I agree with Suzanne, parents of the fist communicants should be enjoying and celebrating with their children not putting on the party. Having an off-year parent group do it makes so much more sense!

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JodieLyn
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Posted: April 16 2009 at 12:53pm | IP Logged Quote JodieLyn

Our Knights of Columbus put on a breakfast the first Sunday of each month during the Fall, Winter and Spring.. so they specifically plan for the one to fall so that it's given for the First Communicants.. and people may attend or not as they choose.

It only gets a bit tight when there's several Knights with children recieveing FHC. But the other Knights are very good about covering as much as they can. I know my dh will often go in early and may help a bit with clean up depending on what else is going on.. but that others do the serving so that there's no delay with picture taking afterward and all.

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CrunchyMom
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Posted: April 16 2009 at 1:38pm | IP Logged Quote CrunchyMom

Susana wrote:
For a few people, sure, but a few hundred? No thanks! :)


That does seem strange to have the FHC parents cooking for the entire parish. It does seem it should be the reverse! It seems around here that most people have private parties following and wouldn't attend a group event.

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