“Photographs and Memories”: Attachment and “Big Sacraments”

It’s that time of year again: first Communions, Confirmations, and, soon, weddings.

“There is a time for penance and a time for partridge,” Holy Mother Teresa of Avila said, and celebration is great, especially when we’re celebrating Christ’s grace in the sacraments.

However, in the vein of cautioning people about the secularization of Christmas, it is important to beware the secularization of the Sacraments themselves. We know it’s a problem with “Cultural Catholics” who treat the sacraments as merely ceremonial “rites of passage”. And again, celebration is wonderful.

I just worry we become too hung up on fancy clothes, photography, and party planning, and we forget to actually remember that these are all supposed to be prayerful occasions.

I also worry that we take times when we’re supposed to be growing closer to God and turn them into times for building on our human habits of attachment–the very attachments we need to shed if we hope to not spend a few centuries in Purgatory.

6 responses to ““Photographs and Memories”: Attachment and “Big Sacraments”

  1. An apt warning, given the cost of First Communion in certain neighborhoods of Chicago is now reaching the cost of a fancy church wedding, $20,000 or so.

  2. Why do you specifically mention Chicago?

  3. joyschoenberger

    Our family is very excited for and proud of our upcoming First Communicant. Rebecca has been preparing dilligently, studying her CCD book (actually based on the Catechism, thank God!), and praying the rosary daily.

    I think the level of celebration and ceremony we’ve settled on is appropriate:

    For the “fancy clothes” you mention, she will wear her Grandmother’s First Communion garb, a silk organza dress and veil handmade by -her- mother (Rebecca’s great-grandmother). My mother-in-law is cleaning it up and altering it for Rebecca. My own mother gave Rebecca the miraculous medal she wore for her First Communion.

    Dave and I purchased her a First Communion commemorative edition of the New American Bible and bookmark as a gift. Rebecca’s little brother bought her a case for her rosary.

    To celebrate, Rebecca’s grandparents and godparents are coming to the Mass, and we’re all going out for lunch afterwards.

  4. joyschoenberger

    Here is a photograph of David’s Mom on her First Communion day, at the Gimnasio Femenino, in Bogota, Columbia, 1951: http://schoenbergerwebs.com/Montana/Franciscophotos/Francisco1Photos/Francisco13.jpg

    Dave’s Grandmother made the dresses for both Dave’s Mom, Victoria, and her sister, Cristina, who both made their First Communion at the same time. The photograph is old and over-exposed, so it is difficult to see much of the detail of the dresses. I will share photos of Rebecca in the dress that should let you see it more clearly.

  5. joyschoenberger

    And here she is, our First Communicant! Congratulations, Rebecca Mary!!!


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