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Dear Neil,

I think the 'angels' all look very nice, and it probably makes them feel very important within the church family for that day. smile

It seems that this is a very ingrained tradition in the Melkite tradition (?)... Is there partaking of the Eucharist from infancy as well, or is this indeed the first Communion?

Alice

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I don't know why the "Solemn Communion" thing exists - even as a transitional thing to eliminating references to "First Communion" it creates misunderstanding. This is not relegated to the UGCC as I have also seen this done in a Melkite parish.


My children receive every week. But seeing as my daughter is approaching 'that age', and seeing all her friends at the Roman Catholic school she attends undertaking preparation for their First Holy Communion, it could be helpful for her to think of herself as reaching a landmark. It's just that, for her, the landmark happens to be her first confession.

That is certainly how our priest wants her to think about it.

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Infants and small children regularly receive communion at my UGCC parish in Northern California.

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As is my usual practice, today I communicated several young children. No one complained; no one even remarked upon it.

Fr. Serge

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Originally Posted by Fr Serge Keleher
As is my usual practice, today I communicated several young children. No one complained; no one even remarked upon it.


We do it every week, multiple times. I manage to weasel the cloth to their chins, and Father manages to pour a bit in to the younger. I can only think of on infant that has offered any resistance.

Today it took a bit of effort to turn the heads of the very young ones we baptized, chrimated, and communed last week so that Father could get to their mouths, but . . .

OTOH, we have a handful of small ones who have never been communed and are blessed each week.

And Father does do some preparation of those who are old enough to understand, but have already been baptized, before communing & chrismating.

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Originally Posted by Alice
Dear Neil,

I think the 'angels' all look very nice, and it probably makes them feel very important within the church family for that day. smile

It seems that this is a very ingrained tradition in the Melkite tradition (?)... Is there partaking of the Eucharist from infancy as well, or is this indeed the first Communion?


Alice,

No, this is not an ingrained tradition. Since the time of Archbishop Joseph's installation as the second US exarch, back in 1969, infant communion has been the norm. However, during the decades prior to that, when latinization was rampant, infant communion was relatively uncommon.

I can't say with certainty, but I believe most, if not all, of these children were communed as infants. To my mind, however, the focus here was not truly their first reception of the Mystery of Reconciliation, but a faux 'First' Communion - 'First Solemn Communion' - whatever one chooses to call it. In truth, the biggest enthusiasm for such appears to be on the part of the newly immigrated, moreso than those who have been here for several generations.

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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