Special ceremonies to mark a child’s First Communion in the Catholic Faith could become a thing of the past if the recommendations of a new policy document published by the Archdiocese of Dublin this week are adopted.

According to TheJournal.ie, the diocese proposes that Catholic children would in future make their First Communion at a regular Sunday Mass. Taking the emphasis off the day itself could help parents avoid the extravagance and expense that has seen the ceremony turn into a kind of mini-fashion show in 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 Doctor Diarmuid Martin told the press.

Doctor Martin said the focus of the new policy was to ensure that First Communions were celebrated 'with the simplicity and authenticity which will help the child to fully understand the mystery of the Eucharist.'

Martin added that when the new policy was being implemented, parishes should work with parents to ensure that the Communion be celebrated without major expense, a nod to the increasingly ostentatious fashion choices of recent years and an acknowledgment that the recession makes it harder for many Irish parents to compete.

Father Kieran McDermott, the diocesan vicar in charge of evangelisation, told the Journal that he hoped the new proposals would refocus on the roles of schools, homes, and parishes, and that a 'significant period of discussion' with the various bodies involved would begin.

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

A Portlaoise priest, Fr Paddy Byrne , suggests that First Holy Communion and Confirmations be delayed until adulthood, to prevent the sacraments from becoming hollow moments.Google Images