First Communion is a rite of passage in the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church, and some segments of the Anglican Church. It is usually received around the age of 7 or 8, but may happen later, and it marks a new level of spiritual understanding and participation for the child.
First Communion is cause for celebration, just like all important childhood milestones. Parents typically host a party after the religious service to mark the occasion with loved ones, and communion invites are often kept for years to serve as a memento of the big day.
Who to invite to your child’s First Communion
There are two events that are part of most First Communion celebrations: the actual religious ceremony, and the party afterwards. Consider who you want present at each part of the day.
Usually people are encouraged by the church to invite extended family and other important people in their child’s life to their First Communion. That said, it’s a good idea to consider carefully who you invite and how many people to invite. Typically there are a number of children all taking First Communion on the same day, so there may not be room for everyone to have a lot of guests. Know your church and the situation, and decide accordingly. Feel free to ask your priest or other church leaders if you don’t know. Once you know how many people to invite, be sure to invite people who will be respectful in a religious setting and make sure your friends know they don’t have to come along if they’re uncomfortable.
The party after the church service celebrating your child’s First Communion can be whatever you want it to be. You can invite all your family and friends and make it a giant celebration of the child, or you can keep it to fellow Catholics who understand its religious significance. You might decide to keep it small and have a family dinner. Make it what you want it to be.
When to send out your First Communion invitations
It’s best to send your communion invitations out 4-6 weeks before the big day: close enough that people don’t put it out of their mind and forget about it, but with enough notice to ensure they are able to attend. Special guests or anyone who will be travelling will appreciate extra notice, if that is possible. A simple phone call or email will be fine for this first information. Children normally attend classes for months beforehand to receive the religious instruction they need in preparation for communion, so you should know the date well ahead of time.
Wording your First Communion invitations:
- Who – Specify who is invited (the whole family, or just the adults?) and who will be taking First Communion.
- What – Make sure it’s clear whether your guests are being invited to the church service, an after party, or both. It’s common to include separate invitation cards for each part of the day, but if you’re inviting all guests to both parts then there’s no need to separate the two.
- When – Give both the date and the time of the event.
- Where – Include both the name of the church, and the address.
- Dress Code – People will be particularly concerned about what they should wear to the church service, even if they are religious themselves. Different churches can have very different cultures. You might need to chat on the phone or exchange some emails to help any guests who aren’t sure.
- RSVP details – Make sure guests know when they need to tell you whether they can come, and give them the best contact details to get in touch.
Communion invitation wording examples
For the communion church service
Please join us to celebrate as
Emma Louise Cane
Takes her First Communion
11am, Sunday July 30, 2017
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
116 Cotham Rd, Kew, 3101
RSVP by July 23, 2017
To Deb, 04432563
For the communion party
You are invited to join us to celebrate
Emma Louise Cane’s First Communion
Please join us after the service
2pm, Sunday July 30, 2017
QPO, 186 High St, Kew 3101
RSVP by July 23, 2017
To Deb, 04432563
Sending out First Communion invitations is an exciting milestone in the life of your child and your family. A little bit of planning goes a long way to writing the perfect invites that will help get your guests to the events and will also serve as significant mementos in years to come.