By C.E. Pereira
Chapter 6 – Liza’s First Holy Communion day
LIZA was excited. Today she would be receiving Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time. This Roman Catholic rite of her First Holy Communion was a very big day for the eight-year-old.
She’d watched her Daddy and Mummy received the Eucharist at Mass. Then her two brothers did their First Holy Communion and now they too receive the Eucharist at Mass. So it was a very big day for little Liza.
The house was in darkness, it wasn’t dawn yet. All was quiet except for the ticking of her Grandfather’s clock and her father snoring loudly.
She sighed. Why was it taking so long for morning to arrive. She was wound-up like a tight spring, ready to jump out of bed.
Then the clock chimed five times. Anytime soon her mother would come in to wake her up.
She imagined herself all dressed up in her white dress with the can-can skirt to give the dress a ‘Cinderella look’. Matching white shoes and socks. A veil with a crown on her head. And not forgetting her brother’s prayer-book and Rosary. She wouldn’t get her own prayer-book or rosary yet, they were poor.
She didn’t mind at all. The prayers her mother taught her, she could recite it from memory. And when praying the Rosary she’d use her fingers to count.
Why was Mummy taking so long? She kept fidgeting and getting restless. The clock struck quarter of the hour, Mummy was still not up.
Her excitement began to wobble. She was almost in tears. Had everyone forgotten her big day? Then she began to pout, angry that the house was still asleep.
She buried her face in her pillow and cried. Tears of frustration. The clock struck the half-hour, and her Mummy breezed into her bedroom. Immediately her tears forgotten. She jumped out of bed to get ready for this important event of her life.
– x –
THE church was packed. Liza looks around with excitement. Sitting among the rest of the candidates in the first few rows was a grand treat. Her eyes darts from the server boys to the bouquets of flowers at the altar, to the candles being lit and finally resting on her Mummy and Daddy, all smiles.
The church organ starts playing. The Mass has started. Liza becomes solemn. She is to embark on a lifelong journey with the Eucharist. She understands that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist and she is going to receive Him for the first time today and then every time she goes to Mass.
Liza participates in the Mass. The singing of hymns, the Readings and the Gospel. Father’s sermon is very simple so as the children can understand. The Mass continues until it is time for the candidates to receive the Body and Blood of Christ.
One by one the children walk up to receive the host; then it was Liza’s turn. A little butterfly flutters in her stomach as she sticks out her tongue. She receives the host dipped in the chalice of wine and murmurs Amen. She is in awe, something precious has been given to her. Hands held in prayer she goes back to her pew, kneels and said her prayer.
When Mass is over, there is a spread of cakes and soda-pop for the children and their family. There are lots of happy laughter and celebration. Liza is enjoying her day, eating the goodies and playing with her friends.
Then it is off to the photo studio to have her photo taken for remembrance. After the photo shoot her Daddy carries her home, little Liza is plain tired out, she falls asleep.
As her Daddy carries her, what is the little one dreaming about? Whatever her dream is, Liza will look forward to receive the Eucharist at Mass. And each time she receives the host she will remember her First Holy Communion day.
Her next very important day in the life of a Roman Catholic is Confirmation Day. But for now she is unaware of that Rite yet. Sweet dreams little one. What an exciting day this has been for you Liza.
Cont: Chapter 7