Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.
For all those parents who have children preparing for First Communion in the coming months, we know boys and girls experience the same thing: They receive the sacrament of reconciliation and then the body, blood soul and divinity of Christ. Human beings being what they are, there are accompanying experiences of a lesser degree, and there are differences in these. Here’s what to expect for boys, and girls ...
10. You have to remind boys that what’s happening is kind of important.
You have to remind girls that what’s happening is not the end of the world, and they can relax.
9. For girls, the biggest question is: “How does the dress look?”
For boys, the biggest question is: “What will it taste like?”
8. First Communion girls look like brides.
First Communion boys look like John Travolta.
7. Before first confession, the girls remember their sins with reluctance and embarrassment.
Before first confession, the boys remember their sins with a grin of satisfied pride.
6. After first confession, girls sit and ponder, slowly processing the meaning of what has happened.
After first confession, boys try to crawl under the pew to see what it looks like underneath.
5. Girls’ patron is Blessed Imelda, who died of ecstasy after her first communion. Imelda Marcos, who loved shoes, was named for her.
Boys’ patron is St. Tarcisio, who was beaten to death by a mob while protecting the host. Tarcisco Proietti, a Mafioso from Milan, was named for him.
4. For girls, getting to sit in the front all dressed up seems to make the Mass, and their moment in the spotlight, seem too short.
For boys, having to sit in the front of the church, all dressed up, makes the Mass seem to drag on and on.
3. Going through their cards after the reception, girls are impressed with how many people love them.
Going through their cards after the reception, boys are impressed with how much money they got just for receiving communion.
2. You elaborately adorn girls’ hair for First Communion.
You buzz cut boys for First Communion to make hair a non-issue.
1. On First Communion day in church, the girls imagine themselves princesses who will one day be brides.
On First Communion day in church, the boys imagine themselves swinging from the church’s rafters on Spider-man webs while the crowd below gasps and then applauds.