I was in a party-supplies shop today, looking for Happy 90th Birthday banners and a reliable source for helium balloons, as in about four weeks’ time we’re throwing my Gran a surprise birthday party. Not a complete surprise, I should add – no jumping out from behind tables and so forth. That’s a bit risky when 75% of the guests are senior citizens.
Anyway – probably more on that another time. What I wanted to write about was another display in the shop, that stopped me dead in my tracks on my way to the cash register.
There were these:
and my favourite, these:
Recap: those are a pink crucifix spangly table centrepiece thingy, Mass-themed confetti, and Jesus Loves Me cupcake toppers.
Jesus Loves Me cupcake toppers.
Must be First Communion season.
I don’t know if it’s just my taking more notice of late , but I think First Communions are getting tackier by the year. It used to be about a lovely white dress and a tour of the relatives to fill your little white silk bag with money given by your grandparents and aunties – oh, and some guy called Jesus. I think he was mentioned in the church bit.
(As a Communicant, I did find the difference between the Communion wafers and the very-much-alive, if a little too White to be realistic, Jesus in my religion book to be somewhat odd. If I hadn’t thought that God would smite me for asking questions about it, I probably would’ve pushed that one.)
Jesus explains that whole ‘this is my body’ bit to a Communion girl who’s clearly waiting for the after party.
Now the day isn’t complete without a professional grooming before and after, a photographer, a full party, and a shedload of blasphemous-seeming decorations.
I don’t know. Maybe it’s the outsider viewpoint, but throwing a Jesus-themed party seems odd to me. My understanding always was that your First Communion was a solemn rite of passage for a mini-Catholic – that regardless of your family’s celebrations afterward, the religious ceremony was sacrosanct, and the image of the cross was holy. I may not believe in it any more, but that part stuck. I’m not sure where sparkly crosses and hymn-book confetti come into it.
But I’m a cynical old atheist, after all. Tomorrow I’m going back to the shop and buying some Godly cake wrappers and some Holy Spirit jelly shots, if such things exist. If Catholics seem to be losing the run of themselves when it comes to the things the religion is meant to hold sacred, who am I to swim against the tide?