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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 18 April, 2014

Archdiocese of Dublin proposes radical shake-up of First Communion ceremonies

The new policy document is geared at making the First Communion a more parish-oriented – and cheaper – event.

First Communion ceremonies - and potentially the traditionally white dresses that go with them - could become a thing of the past in Dublin.
First Communion ceremonies - and potentially the traditionally white dresses that go with them - could become a thing of the past in Dublin.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

STANDALONE CEREMONIES to mark a child’s First Communion could become a thing of the past under a new policy document published this afternoon by the Archdiocese of Dublin.

The diocese’s proposals would see Catholic children make their First Communion at a regular Sunday Mass – possibly in small groups – in order to avoid the extravagance and expense that has accompanied the ceremony in more recent years.

“Parishes should encourage people to celebrate the Sacrament with the simplicity and authenticity which will help the child to fully understand the mystery of the Eucharist,” archbishop Dr Diarmuid Martin said this afternoon.

Dr Martin said the focus of the new policy was to ensure that First Communions – as well as First Confession ceremonies – were celebrated “with the simplicity and authenticity which will help the child to fully understand the mystery of the Eucharist”.

He added that when the new policy was being implemented, parishes should work with parents to ensure that the Communion event be celebrated without major expense.

Fr Kieran McDermott, the diocesan vicar in charge of evangelisation, said he hoped the new proposals would refocus on the roles of schools, homes and parishes and that he would now begin a “significant period of discussion” with the various bodies involved.

Dr Martin acknowledged that it may be some time before the changes are adopted throughout the archdiocese, which covers most of counties Dublin and Wicklow, and parts of counties Carlow, Kildare, Laois and Wexford.

Read: Gilmore: Communion allowance cut to stop ‘lavish’ spending

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