Gift ideas abound for first-time communicants

A Bible or rosary make excellent First Communion gifts. Courtesy photo.
A Bible or rosary make excellent First Communion gifts. Courtesy photo.

A new Bible or a first set of rosary beads make great gifts for children who just received their First Holy Communion.

Parents, aunts, uncles, and even older brothers and sisters often look on with pride when their young relatives receive the sacrament of Holy Communion. One of three Sacraments of Initiation within the Catholic church, the sacrament of First Holy Communion, or the Eucharist, is a momentous event in the life of a young Catholic. To Catholics, First Holy Communion is the first time they receive the body and blood of their savior Jesus Christ.

Despite receiving First Holy Communion at a relatively young age (most children receive the sacrament at the age of seven or eight), young Catholics are schooled on the significance of the day and many of them recognize just how it important it is to their faith and their family members. That significance is only highlighted by the presence of family and friends on the day that young Catholics receive the Eucharist for the first time. Many families celebrate the day with a party that commences after children receive the sacrament, and it’s customary for relatives to give youngsters a gift to commemorate their special day.

When it comes to gifting youngsters on their First Holy Communion, there are certain guidelines many Catholics follow, and many of those guidelines have to do with the gender of the new communicant (term for a person receiving Holy Communion).

When gifting a girl who just received the Eucharist for the first time, religious jewelry can make a great gift. A cross or crucifix that young ladies can wear as a necklace appeals to many young girls’ love of jewelry while allowing them to showcase their faith at the same time. If not a cross or crucifix, a sacramental charm bracelet can make an ideal gift.

For boys who just received their First Holy Communion, a cross or crucifix also makes an appropriate gift. Another gift idea for boys is a miraculous medal that can be inscribed to commemorate the day. Many grown men still have the medals they received at their First Holy Communion and consider these medals among their most cherished possessions.

Of course, not all gifts are gender-specific. Books, including the Bible, that will instill a greater understanding of the faith and help children grow as Catholics make great gifts for boys and girls. Rosary beads also make great gifts for boys and girls.

Creative gift-givers might also want to make a DVD or photo album of a youngster’s First Holy Communion, which is a gift they can share with others, including their own children someday, for years to come.