Receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist is a momentous event in a young Christian’s life, marking one of the first steps he or she takes in individual faith formation. Children who receive the Eucharist are further initiated into the church and this enables them to receive Communion at each and every mass thereafter, provided they remain in good standing with the church.
Christian families place great significance on the Eucharist and most want to commemorate the occasion with a party. Some people treat it as they would a wedding or Sweet 16 party, inviting friends and extended family members. Others prefer to keep the celebration a bit more intimate. Regardless of the size of the party, there are some tips to make it a memorable affair that’s fun for everyone.
Don’t start planning until you confirm the date of the ceremony. Some churches have one date on which they hold a special mass to administer all candidates. Others may stagger the ceremonies over the course of several dates and may intertwine their Eucharist ceremonies with the regular mass schedule. Either way, parents should confirm the date months in advance so they have ample time to schedule parties and shop for appropriate attire.
Reserve your date quickly. Once you know the date of the ceremony, do not delay if you plan to hold a party at a restaurant or intend to hire a caterer for a party at home. Not only will you be competing for dates with other Communion parties, but you’ll also be going up against April or May weddings and graduation parties. If there is a particular restaurant or banquet hall you have in mind, reserve the date quickly and leave a deposit to secure the reservation. Great restaurants like Lorenzo’s, located on South Ave, are in high demand throughout the spring, so Staten Islanders should always book early.
Order invitations, favors, and decorations early. Speaking of decorations, reach out to a Deer Park flower shop in advance, so you have ample enough time to adorn the venue. Invitations should be sent four to six weeks prior to the event, so it is a good idea to order them as far ahead of time as possible. Mailing or emailing “Save the Date” cards once you have booked the event will help reduce scheduling conflicts for guests. Favors and decorations should be ordered at least two months in advance to ensure a timely arrival. Any personalized items will take extra time to process before shipping, so be sure to order these several months before the big day as well.
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Book a great photographer. You’ll always want to remember how precious your child looked in his or her Communion attire, so hire a professional photographer to capture the most unforgettable moments of the day. Spring is a popular time for parties, so choose the right photographer for you and book them ASAP. Get a list of local photographers.
Consider a catered affair. Very often a Communion reception takes place shortly after the ceremony at church. This means guests will go directly from the church to the party. Catering the party will ensure food is ready as your guests arrive and cut down on the amount of preparatory work you will have to do. Local establishments like A Taste of Honey, South Shore Bar & Grill and Bario’s are fantastic options for on/off premises catering.
Hire entertainment. If the party will be a larger affair with a number of children in attendance, it may pay to hire an entertainer like a magician, balloon artist or deejay to keep everyone entertained and occupied. You can check out S.I. Parent’s Magazine’s Party Services page to start your search. Again, you’ll need to reserve your entertainers early on to guarantee availability. Remember to give the deejay a playlist that will include music for all ages in attendance.
A young person receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist is something worth celebrating. Ensure your party is a success by planning out the details in advance and hosting the best party you can within your desired budget.