16 Little ANGELS Received Jesus for FIRST Time in Form of HOLY COMMUNION at Milagres Church

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16 Little ANGELS Received Jesus for FIRST Time in Form of HOLY COMMUNION at Milagres Church

  •  16 Little ANGELS Received Jesus for FIRST Time in Form of HOLY COMMUNION at Milagres Church, Mangaluru on Sunday, 1 November 2020 , during which the Church also observed the All Saints Day

Mangaluru: First Communion is a ceremony in some Christian traditions during which a person first receives Jesus Christ in the form of Eucharist aka Holy Communion. It is most common in many parts of the Latin Church tradition of the Catholic Church, Lutheran Church and Anglican Communion. In Catholic churches that celebrate First Communion, it typically occurs between the ages of seven and thirteen, often acting as a rite of passage. Catholics believe this event to be very important, as the Eucharist occupies a central role in Catholic theology and practice.

The liturgical life of the Church revolves around the sacraments, with the Eucharist at the center. At Mass, we are fed by the word and nourished by the Body and Blood of Christ. The Eucharist is not a sign or symbol of Jesus; rather we receive Jesus Himself in and through the Eucharistic species. The priest, through the power of his ordination and the action of the Holy Spirit, transforms the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. This is called the Transubstantiation. Receiving the Eucharist changes us. It signifies and affects the unity of the community and serves to strengthen the Body of Christ.

The sacrament of First Communion is an important tradition for Catholic families and individuals. Holy Communion is usually the third of seven sacraments received; it occurs only after receiving Baptism, and once the person has reached the age of reason (usually, around the second grade). Traditions of celebration surrounding First Communion usually include large family gatherings and parties to celebrate the event. The first communicant wears special clothing, which is often white to symbolize purity. Often, a girl wears a fancy dress and a veil attached to a chaplet of flowers or some other hair ornament. Boys may wear a suit and tie, tuxedo, their Sunday best, or national dress, with embroidered armbands worn on the left arm and occasionally white gloves.

Eucharist is a source and summit of our Christian/Catholic life. First Holy Communion is a wonderful moment in a child’s life and represents a sign of growth in the knowledge and love of God for each and every child. Parents who bring their child or children for First Holy Communion are fulfilling the vow they made publicly at their child’s Baptism. It was an auspicious day for the lovely 16 children belonging to Milagres Church, Mangaluru, who were all decked themselves with white gowns and wears, with angelic looks and pure heart to receive the King of Kings in their heart for the first time.

1 November every year is observed as All Saints Day, and it is a very important day for the Catholic Churches in Karnataka. Today as we celebrated the feast of All Saints as well as Karnataka Rajotstava and in Milagres parish little children also received Jesus for the first time in the form of Holy Communion. Most Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha Bishop of Mangaluru Diocese, presided over the celebration and exhorted the adults and children to pray for our state and the local church, through the intercession of all Saints. 16 children of the parish received first Holy Communion, after preparing them for almost a month.

The Bishop during his reflection explained the significance of this day. He said, “Today we celebrate the feast of All Saints, these are men and women who are in Heaven with God. Not only Christians, but also people of all faiths who have led Holy lives here on Earth and have been awarded heaven as an eternal reward. We honour them and pray to them. They inspire us that it is possible for us all to become saints. The Beatitudes and the Gospel shows us the way on how we can inherit heaven. The problem today is that we are “born original, but die photocopies’ ‘, we try to imitate a lot of people and end up losing ourselves. Today’s feast is a calling that we need to lead our lives in the way of the Gospel, imitating only our Lord and not anyone else”.

The Bishop also remembered a young Saint Carlos, who was 15 years of age when he died, and who was beatified last month inspires us that we too can be Holy despite our age. ” Carlos never missed the Eucharist any day in his life, and saw the Eucharist as a highway to Heaven is an inspiration to our children. When we live according to the framework of the beatitudes, we become the stain glass through which the sun shines and brightens the world” said the Bishop. Fr Bonaventure Nazareth, the parish priest and clergy of Milagres joined the celebration.

The first Holy Communion is without question a time of great joy. It was truly a joyful moment for these 16 children to receive Holy Communion and for them to feel that they are also part of the Church- and many were aware that what they are receiving is the Body of Christ and what they are doing is truly sacred and divine. Hence, their parents, God-parents, relatives and friends were very happy too. The children smiled exuberantly upon reception of their First Holy Communion.

These days the celebration to mark Child’s First Holy Communion is bigger than a wedding reception, with glitz and glamour- but this year due to pandemic, the lavish celebrations are cut down. On this day, children receive Gifts of a religious nature, such as Bibles, children’s or teenager’s daily devotional books, rosaries, prayer books, religious statues, icons, and holy cards. Monetary gifts are also common. Many families have formal professional photographs taken in addition to candid snapshots in order to commemorate the event. Some churches arrange for a professional photographer after the ceremony, which was done at Milagres Church, where every year, Roshan Madtha, of Roshan digitals Milagres, Mangaluru will be at the helm clicking some beautiful snaps, and happily sharing a few with Team Mangalorean, to be incorporated along with the report.

Team Mangalorean congratulates the 16 Children who received the First Holy Communion, and pray that they become graceful, and Godly young children. Just as they are blessed with God’s love today, their family is also blessed by them every day. May Heaven’s blessings shine down on them after taking part in the bread of life and the cup of eternal salvation for the first time today, and carry the Lord’s blessings and love with them forever.

Photos Credit : Roshan Madtha of Roshan Digitals Milagres, Mangaluru

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