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We have a little library of articles about the sacrement of First Communion and also about First Communion Invitations. These articles are lsited below. Just click on a link to
browse the article. I'm trying to get info a little more closely related to first communion invitations. You'll have to bear with me for the mean time. Sorry... I've described the long history of the sacrement of communion below.
Here's some press releases from people trying to sell first communion invitations...
First Communion History
All who participate in this Eucharist are fed by the same life of Christ. At the same time the worldwide eucharistic celebration is a sign of unity it is also a source, or cause, of unity. We are nourished by the same body and blood of Christ, strengthened in unity.
All living creatures eat, but only human beings share a meal. A pride of lions dine on the same carcass, but the king gets his share first. Lionesses and cubs must wait their turn to snarl at each other over the leftovers, and the weakest eats last.
Baptism gave US a new identity. It brought us into the family of the Church as birth or adoption brings a child into a family. But Baptism, like birth, is only a beginning. It takes a long time to grow into our identity. Discovering who we are as Catholic Christians is like acquiring a sense of personal and family identity: It takes both time and intimacy with others.
We are also born again when we have our first communion. This is the first day that we ingest the body and blood of Jesus Christ - and celebrate with First Communion Invitations and other gifts.
The fundamental meaning of any sacrament (and a meaning that should be portayed in First Communion invitations) can be found in the prayers which accompany the sacramental action. In each of the seven sacraments we invoke the Holy Spirit and petition the Spirit to make us holy and to build up the Body of Christ. This petition is the key to understanding the sacrament: The primary petition of the eucharistic prayer is for unity in Christ. We ask that the Spirit change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ so that we who eat and drink might be changed into the Body of Christ. "Let your Spirit come upon these gifts to make them holy, so that they may become for us the body and blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ....May all of us who share in the body and blood of Christ be brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit." (Eucharistic Prayer, 2) "Grant that we, who are nourished by his body and blood, may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ." (Eucharistic Prayer, 3) The other eucharistic prayers have similar invocations.
When I was growing up, my parish had a pastor and three other priests who were full-time associate pastors. We had five Masses on Sunday and three Masses scheduled each day of the week (in addition to weddings and funerals). Today few parishes have four priests. Many only have one priest. And there are over 2,000 parishes here in the United States that currently have no priest at all. In many of these parishes, on days when a priest cannot be present to celebrate the Eucharist, a Communion service is held instead.
What is a Communion service? I think our parish is rather typical of what parishes are doing across the country. In our parish, for example, on days when the pastor is absent, the pastoral associate, Sister Jane, leads a Communion service. She calls the assembly together with the Sign of the Cross and a prayer. Then she (or another member of the parish) reads the Scripture passages assigned to the Mass for the day. Sister Jane then says a prayer thanking Christ for the gift of the Eucharist. Everyone recites the Lord’s Prayer. Then Sister distributes holy Communion with hosts consecrated at a previous Mass and taken from the tabernacle. She concludes the service with a prayer.
An easy way to understand the parts of the Mass, that is, its external structure or shape, is to compare it to something with which we are all familiar, Thanksgiving dinner at Grandmother’s house. What do we do when we go to Grandmother’s for Thanksgiving? We 1) gather as a family, and 2) talk. We sit in the living room and tell our stories. We catch up on what has happened since the last time we were together. When it’s time to eat, we 3) move to the table. The turkey and all the trimmings are brought from the kitchen and 3a) are placed on the table. We 3b) say grace, and then we pass the food and we 3c) eat and drink. Refreshed by our Thanksgiving meal we 4) say our good-byes and return to our homes.
The Eucharist has this same fourfold structure: 1) gathering, 2) storytelling, 3) meal sharing and 4) commissioning. Part three has three movements: 3a) the Preparation of the Gifts, 3b) the Eucharistic Prayer and 3c) the Communion Rite.
Nobody would ever have dreamed that half a century after Pope St. Pius X issued his Decree Quam Singulari on early Confession and Communion (they didn't have First Communion Invitations at this time), we would be discussing again the appropriate age for the admission of children to the sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance. This has happened, however, in the midst of other marvels, and the problem has assumed such relevance that the Holy See has deemed it opportune to examine the issue once again, even if in somewhat nuanced terms, in its recently published General Catechetical Directory.
At the gathering of the National Delegates in Rome in December 1980 with Members of the Permanent Committee and representatives of the local Committee, in preparation for the 42nd International Eucharistic Congress of 1981 in Lourdes, the Holy Father suggested that they should take into consideration “above all the experiences and traditions of previous eucharistic congresses with those well-tried features over the years” (Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. III,2 1980, p. 1655).
Hence I will seek to bring to light, within the limits of a brief report, the varied aspects of “eucharistic experience” that have emerged in the more than century-old tradition of the International Eucharistic Congresses. This will also enable us to perceive a development in the understanding of the Eucharistic mystery over the last hundred years.
From the very beginning lively faith in Jesus Christ truly present and active in the Eucharist was the inspiring force of those who organisers of the International Eucharistic Congresses. They were convinced that the Eucharist contains the answer to the needs of society in the 19th century, in which the “death of God” had been announced. Thus, the watchword was: “The Eucharist saves the world”. They were convinced that the renewal of the Christian life comes about through the Eucharist - even if you didn't get First Communion Invitations.
In the preparation of the first 15 Congresses - the first of which was in 1881 at Lille in France – up to the Congress in Roma in 1905, the permanent committee (which until 1950 resided in Paris) and the local committees relied above all on the collaboration of numerous associations of “eucharistic works”; these associations were dedicated to eucharistic worship in various forms of fostering adoration, which found in the Feast of Corpus Christi the triumphal expression and proclamation of faith before the world.
The celebration of these Congresses, apart from the celebration of Mass, included reports given by the eucharistic associations and some talks on a theme related to the Eucharist. The high point always was the solemn eucharistic procession in which the people and often the civic authorities took part.
As a conclusion, these Congresses drew up certain wishes (the so-called “voti”); among these the most important concerned frequent Communion and the admission of children to Communion. These no doubt had their influence on the Decrees of St Pius X on frequent Communion (Sacra Tridentina Synodus in 1905) and on the Communion of children (Quam singularis in 1910).
In their preparation of the Congresses following that of Rome in 1905, there was great zeal shown in making known these documents and in seeing to their implementation through catechesis regarding confession and communion of adults and children.
In the celebrations (with First Communion Invitations) there are records of the numbers of Communions distributed during the Congresses; for example, that the Congress of Vienna in 1912, there were 1000,000 children prepared for their First Communion by eucharistic associations; at that of Buenos Aires in 1934, 100,000 Communions distributed to children, 400,000 to men and 700,000 to women.
After the 26th International Eucharistic Congress (no First Communion Invitations) held at Rome in 1922, Pope Pius XI began a “new series of Congresses” involving the local churches in all five continents; they took place every two years and were focused on having a “missionary” preparation. Following up the wishes (“voti”) expressed during previous Congresses, this Pope instituted the Feast of Christ the King for the whole Church.
It should be noted that in the preparation for the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress (again, no First Communion Invitations given to participants) at Manila in 1937 there had been no less than 12 diocesan congresses and numerous parish congresses; this was possible because of the generous participation of lay catechists. In the Acts one reads, it seems for the first time, the word: Re-evangelisation.
In the celebrations one finds in the Congress from that at Rome in 1922 to that at Barcelona in 1952, up till the Congress of Rio de Janeiro in 1955, themes of current interest began to be treated at the Congresses, themes such as Christ’s Peace, Our Lady and the Eucharist, the Eucharistic Apostolate in the Missions, and the Practice of Eucharist in countries like Holland and Ireland. The climax was always the grandiose Eucharistic procession.
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First Communion Invitations
First Communion is a special time in your child's life.
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