As I’m designing Little Miss C’s First Holy Communion invitation, I realized I hadn’t told you about another special day for Little Miss C. In January, she received another holy sacrament – her First Reconciliation. In the preparation retreat, she thought she’d feel awesome after her First Reconciliation.
It was an awesome day and I hope one she remembers fondly.
It was very cold that morning. As we approached our church, she was chatty and happy. She was prepared. In school, they learned about reconciliation. Everyone makes mistakes. As humans, God gave us free will and the ability to choose right or wrong. When we choose “wrong”, we have a chance to ask for forgiveness if we are sincerely sorry. First Reconciliation is the first time a child confesses her sins and mistakes with remorse, receives a penance and then absolution of those sins. When we practiced at home, she would confess made-up things like “I dumped pink paint on Lucy (our dog) or I threw my bowl of cereal at my sister or I stayed up all night playing even after you told me to go to sleep.” Silly things. She felt she was ready.
There were six priests sitting around the church and Little Miss C could choose any priest. We sat in the pew and prayed for a bit and we asked Little Miss C if she was ready. And then the tears started. “I don’t want to. I”m scared. Do I have to?” My heart broke. I knew it was very scary… the first time. Who likes to talk about mistakes and wrongs? The first time is scary. The unknown is scary. So I hugged her closely and whispered that I understood and everything would be ok.
The Religious Education director noticed that we had been sitting for quite a bit. She quietly approached and pointed to a certain priest sitting next to the statue of St. Joseph. She whispered to Little Miss C, “Father is really, really, really nice. All the kids that go to him always come away smiling. I think you’ll like him.”
I looked at Little Miss C and she nodded yes. So we walked to a pew closer to Father and the statue of St. Joseph and sat, hugging, for a bit longer. Eventually Little Miss C gathered her courage and walked over to Father. He was extremely welcoming and kind. I couldn’t hear what was being said, but I could tell by his and her body language that all was well.
After she received absolution for her sins, she quietly walked back to me with a small smile and we hugged again. I looked across the church to see Mr. Rosey smiling. Big Sis M looked like she was day dreaming about her next basketball game. Ha! Can’t expect a ten year old to focus on her sister for an hour.
It was a blessed day! A special day for our daughter and our family.
As a remembrance of her First Reconciliation, I ordered a ceramic cross with a lamb from HKL Designs. It’s a simple reminder of her First Reconciliation. It’s a simple reminder of the gift of forgiveness.