Communion Day

24 Apr

We had a great day for the First Communion with lots and lots of blue sky and big puffy white clouds that weren’t dropping much rain.  We also got a great parking space right on O’Connell St. across from the church and I got a great picture of the three girls walking ahead of me to the church.

We were also early enough to have Grace pose for a quick picture at the “Hands of God” sculpture outside the church. This turned out to be a good thing since after the mass the place was mobbed and we’d never have gotten a good photo.  I like the picture because it looks really surreal with the big hand and the tiny hotel and the gorgeous first communionite standing in the middle.

Inside the church, Grace took her assigned seat and waited patiently with the most intesne look of concentration on her face.  I think she was a bit nervous about carrying the flowers up to the altar.

She did a great job with the flowers and walked them up slowly and purposefully.  I personally was impressed that besides the flowers, one of the other offertory gifts was a Hurley brought to the altar to represent…actually I can’t remember what it represented…but if you don’t know about Hurling, it is the most insane field sport I know of and you play it with a stick called a Hurley – I’m sure I’ll write about it sometime.

Anyway, another notable thing about the ceremony were the dresses on the traveller girls in the class.  The tradition among the itinerant families is to go waaaaaaay over the top on the first communion celebrations and the little girls wear dresses that make wedding dresses look like casual-wear.  A friend of mine told me about a girl at her daughter’s ceremony whose dress had lights inside it that the parents clicked on with a remote control at the moment she recieved the host for the first time.  Wow.

So after the mass, I was taking a picture of Grace on the altar and I was lucky enough to get a great shot of the amazing dress on the girl behind her – it didn’t light up, but it was certainly impressive enough….not to mind the six inch high tiara.

But all the girls in the class were proud of their dresses and Grace’s was one of the finest there.  She had the added bonus of having had it sent from San Francisco from her Grandmother so it was both beautiful and exotic.  Having the same dress as someone else was a concern Grace didn’t have to worry about.

After mass we went home as quickly as we could to get everything ready for the guests to arrive back for a little party.  The picture below is a quiet moment I captured of Grace waiting for her friends to arrive and looking out the office window (yes, our house has a dedicated office in it – how sweet is that!). 

Soon enough everyone arrived and while we waited for the elaborate Crown Roast provided by Kevin Leyden (butcher extraordinaire), we set the kids onto the Taco Bar which Grace had requested as the ultimate favorite party food.  Below, Jim Lyons looks on in wonder as the kids tuck into the Mexican assembly line.

While the kids ate Tacos, the parents enjoyed the incredible Roast and the creamy Salmon Wellington that Mary had created as well as the world famous Cornflake Potatoes from Madeleine Lyons that have been known to bring visitors from as far away as San Francisco to marvel at their incredibleness.

After food, the rabbits were a big hit with the younger crowd and everyone enjoyed running around the backyard palying all sorts of games.  Below it looks like Jack is about to tag someone with the ball.  You’re it!

In the end, we managed to drag the kids in from the garden with the promise of a cake from O’Connor’s Bakery which has got to be the best bakery in Ennis.  Awesome cake.  Grace couldn’t even pose for the picture she was so busy picking bits off it and stuffing them in her mouth.

If the first communion was this good, I can’t wait for the next.

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