14 First Holy Communion Traditions

First Holy Communion is a very important event for Catholics and some other Christians! It is one of the 7 Sacraments, and it is the 3rd one received after Baptism and First Reconciliation. You can see an overview of First Communion for Catholics here. Today, I want to share with you some first holy communion traditions to help make this day more meaningful and memorable for your whole family! 

first communion promenade series

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Today, I’m sharing a list of traditions your family may enjoy while celebrating a First Holy Communion. Here goes!

  1. Make a First Communion banner. You can do this with your child whether or not their “class” does it together. Find directions on how to make a First Communion Banner own here. Also, Angie has an ebook with lots of great templates to make a banner.
  2. Throw a Party! Making your First Holy Communion only happens once in a lifetime, and in my book, that makes it waaaaay more exciting than a birthday! So live it up- throw a party! What better way to show to your kids that making their First Holy Communion is a big deal than to make a big deal out of it?
  3. Have a Special First Communion breakfast that morning. Love this one! So simple, and I think kids would love it!
  4. Make a First Communion cake. This goes along with the party thing. You can find some First Communion cake ideas here.
  5. Expect participation in Mass. Now that your child is making their First Communion, they need to be “big” at Mass. No more toys, Mass bags, snacks, or doodle pads. It’s time to sit, stand, kneel, pray… participate in the Mass. One way to do this is to encourage their participation in Mass is to get them a children’s Mass missal.
  6. Give a timeless gift they can hold onto forever, such as a prayer book, rosary, religious necklace, crucifix, or Bible. That way, they can use this item and always know they got it for their First Communion. These things will be long cherished after the little statues of boys and girls are broken or forgotten. If you get a prayer book or Bible, you can have their name and the date engraved on the cover at many Catholic shops for around $5.
  7. Have your child get their items blessed by the priest. After they receive their gifts, take them to Mass with you the next Sunday and have your child request that the priest bless them. It’s good for them to be involved in this process. first holy communion traditions
  8. Light their Baptism candle at dinner. Traditionally, Baptism candles were lit at special occasions such as Baptism anniversaries, and First Communion dinners. Then at one’s death, the candle is lit and allowed to burn all the way down. Just a little informational tid-bit.
  9. Make a First Communion craft. I have a few ideas you can choose from. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  10. Invite your child’s Godparents to the First Communion! And if you have Godchildren, make a serious effort to go to their First Communion.
  11. Have First Communion portraits made. I don’t get many (*cough, any, cough*) individual portraits made of my children, but I plan on getting a professional portrait of each of them made in their First Communion clothes. I’m going to hang them all in a row in our home. My children will always know that this is a very big deal to our family, and we’ll always remember them on their big day.
  12. Have a special clothing item- for a girl, get a veil. For a boy, get an old fashioned First Communion armband. The armband tradition seems to have fallen to the wayside, but I’m planning on having one for Julian!
  13. Get enrolled in the scapular. You can read more about that here. Aparantely, it used to be very common for all children to be enrolled at the time of their First Holy Communion.
  14. Say a special prayer for your child at dinner with your family. I really like this First Communion poem I happened upon online:


    Remember how He broke the loaf made from golden wheat,
    And said, “This is my body.  Take this bread and eat.”

    Remember how the sun-ripe grapes taken from the vine
    Became a cup of blessing:  “Take and drink this wine.”

    Remember how a cross of wood became a symbol of
    Christ’s giving of himself to us-the greatest kind of love.

    Remember Jesus’ love for you today as you receive
    His bread of life, His cup of grace…Remember and believe!


This week, me and several other bloggers are going to be sharing posts on the topic of First Communion, then on April 15, we will be hosting a blog link up together so everyone can share their posts about First Communion! I’m very excited. ๐Ÿ™‚ Tomorrow, tune into to Lisa Hendey at Catholicmom.com to read about the beauty of an entire family being able to receive First Holy Communion together.

First Communion Promenade Rundown:

April 8- Catholic Icing with First Communion Traditions

April 9- Catholic Mom with First Communion Memories

April 10- Catholic Deals with First Communion Deals

April 11- Many Little Blessings with First Communion Cake Ideas

April 12- Snoring Scholar with Celebrating Without Stress

April 15- First Communion Link Up, and you’re all invited!

Don’t miss these posts coming up later this week! See you all at the link-up hosted on each of these sites one week from today, April 15. Can’t wait to see all your First Communion posts, plus, we’re going to have some fun First Communion giveaways! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post continues after this brief information about the Catholic Icing Monthly Membership

Monthly Liturgical Membership

Catholic Liturgical Monthly Membership

Perfect for families! Each month you gain access to printable activity pages, crafts, home altar pieces, and more.
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Check out all of my First Communion Resources for Kids here.

Related Posts:

PS. The pictures from his post are from my Nana’s First Holy Communion in 1941. Aren’t they beautiful? PPS. I promised when I wrote about my Daddy coming into the Church that my next post would be a Catholic craft, but I guess I lied. ;-P

Picture Book of the Mass


  1. Samantha Levesque says

    How timely! My daughter’s first communion/confirmation is this Thursday and I will be looking to your pinboard for some ideas ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, you read that right. In our diocese, our children (7 yrs old) receive first communion and confirmation at the same time.

  2. I never do professional photos, either. Our 6th child is having her 1st Communion and I never did those professionally because we came to the church late. Wish I had done this all along!

  3. Thanks for such a great list! My daughter receives her 1st Communion in May (Mother’s Day weekend) and I’m starting to think about preparations. (Only 1 month left!!! I can’t believe it!!!) I love the breakfast idea! And we’ll be having portraits made too but instead of going to a studio I think we are going to have her great Aunt (who is a photographer) take her pictures outside in one of the many beautiful parks we are blessed with in this area. Thanks again for all the great ideas! I can’t wait to see the rest of the series!

  4. RealMom4Life says

    Our 6th is making her First Communion in a couple weeks. Love these ideas, we’ve done most of them but there are still some I hadn’t heard of and will be trying. Wish I had seen something like this 11 years ago when our first made her First Communion.

    Religious pictures are nice too. We always give the our First Communicant a picture related to the Eucharist or Jesus (OK – nearly redundant there but I think you’ll know what I mean). We write a little message to them on the back and date it. They hang in their rooms. They look forward to receiving their special picture.

  5. Just a little idea for cake. I spent a lot of time making a cake topped with a chalice, grapes, host, rosary of marshmellow fondant. It was GREAT!!! Fun idea was making the rosary beads and stringing them with dental floss so they flow on the cake. We had a great time making the beads and praying the rosary as we prepared for her special day. (The girls may or may not have be able to eat some of their beads that did not come out the right size) The look on my daughter’s face when she told people I made this amazing cake for her was beyond priceless!!

  6. Just a little idea for cake. I spent a lot of time making a cake topped with a chalice, grapes, host, rosary of marshmellow fondant. It was GREAT!!! Fun idea was making the rosary beads and stringing them with dental floss so they flow on the cake. We had a great time making the beads and praying the rosary as we prepared for her special day. (The girls may or may not have be able to eat some of their beads that did not come out the right size) The look on my daughter’s face when she told people I made this amazing cake for her was beyond priceless!!

  7. Lacy–I guessed the year of that First Communion photo of your grandmother–my mom’s was either that year or the year after, and she wore the same long veil as the little girls in your picture. Thanks for showing us this wonderful old photo.

  8. When I was younger our priest would come to your house and have a private ceremony for family if you’d like. All of my siblings and I had our first communion that way. (We would participate in the traditional one in the church as well.) I loved it. My mom and whomever was making their first would make the unleavened bread together. The whole (large italian) family would come over and we’d have a big celebration. ( It would be more of a celebration weekend.)

  9. Cecelia Reynolds says

    Lacy-here is a tradition (sort of) that our oldest daughter did. She counted her communions. We didn’t know it until we were leaving Mass one day and she said, that was my 25th communion. We asked, “you’re counting?” She said, sure, why not, it’s always Jesus. She stopped counting at 365 (a year’s worth). She received her 1st from a Monsignor, and her 100th from a bishop.

  10. My daughters first communion is in two weeks….on the same day as her 8th birthday:)

  11. How do I join a Linky?????

  12. Sheila Foster says

    I love this list! It is just the reference I have been searching for!! One thing we are doing fory son is **making a loaf of unleavened bread** together to be shared with the family at our “after party/luncheon”. This is such an exciting time.

  13. The word CHILD is singular; the pronoun THEIR is plural. The two words (no matter how politically correct) do not go together in the same simple sentence.

    • Thank you so much for the grammar lesson. I do know this is true, although sometimes I do just say “their” rather than saying he/she. True point, though.

  14. Number 5 doesn’t take place on the day of First Communion. That’s a process that happens over time. My kids stopped bringing snacks at 3 years old (maybe even 2, I don’t remember for sure). Toys went bye-bye sometime around 3 or 4. At 5, they are expected to participate some of the time, at 6 most of the time, and by 7, all of the time. My 6 year old even kneels quietly for 15-20 minutes during our night of Adoration with our youth group without being asked to do so. That is nothing that happens overnight, it happens over a long period of time, through a lot of patience, prayer, understanding, and meaningful conversations with your kids about what takes place during Mass and why we should be reverent. If you wait for the day of First Communion, you are way too late.

  15. Marilou Purpura says

    WE used the baptismal candles in the cake at Communion and confirmation cake…THEN when our daughter got married, she used it at the unity candle during the Mass, to light the center candle…..I love that idea and had to fight to get her to use it, wanted a pretty candle at the wedding, but I was like come on this was at your BAPTISM!

  16. My son, Stephen, will be making his first communion on April 28. We are having a giant party, as my parents did for me when I made my first communion. What is special is that my father, whom my son is named after, is giving my son a gold Saint Stephen medal for him to wear on his lapel. This is like a “trinity” celebration of my son, father, and Saint Stephen (who was the first Christian Martyr).
    On a funny note, my son is getting so excited about his party that he has been begging us for a pinata! (I said, “what do you want, a Jesus pinata?”) Although, this would hold true with the entire scenario with the last supper and how Jesus was beaten . . . I just can’t bear the notion of even creating this! :0) May God bless all of you and your families!

  17. firstcommuiondresses says

    these first communion ideas are wondeful.

  18. I got some terrific first communion favor ideas from this blog. Thanks for sharing!

  19. robbie @ going green mama says

    I wish I had stumbled on this two months ago! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I do have to share my gift for my child. I had really struggled with what to give her for her First Communion – until a friend of mine was traveling to Rome with her church. So she received a rosary blessed by Pope Francis. Not sure if I can ever meet that for my second child!

    Have a blessed week.


    One of the sweetest traditions of our church, our pastor has the kids wear their outfits the next day at Mass, and then again when we do May crowning….I just love that! The Boys and girls line up and do a procession for May crowning….it is just beautiful seeing 125 kids, in line…girls in their white dresses….Father at every Mass on Sunday will say yesterday was first communion for our school, is there any children here who made their first communion yesterday please stand, and everyone claps.

  21. Jeannine K says

    I’m so thankful to find this page. ๐Ÿ™‚ We are having studio pictures done and we’ll take some pictures outside too. I have boy/girl twins so double the fun! haha Communion date is 5/11/19 Mother’s Day weekend. Currently, I’m planning the party and favors, etc. Invitations went out this week so I think we’re doing ok. I just hope everything goes according to plan. We’re having the party at a restaurant, since my home is too small. Plus, I’d have to do a lot of cleaning and that will make me crazy. Life is so busy so I’m trying to ust keep it together throughout this planning process. This list is great! Thanks for sharing!