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Customs - First Holy Communion in Poland


Dora 2 | 29
10 Jan 2007 #1
Hello everyone, I am going to be attending a First Holy Communion in May of this year, during my visit to Poland. It will be for my good friend's daughter - the family I will be staying with. What is an appropriate gift for this occasion?

Also, is it customary that there will be a party or celebration after the church?

Any idea where I can get a nice card in Polish here in the US ?! Thanks so much!!
Kochana_Babcia 2 | 70
10 Jan 2007 #2
First Holy Communion is a big celebration in Poland, usually a party after the church service. Probably very similar to what everyone does in the USA. My grandson will be

having his First Communion this May also and I got him a really nice figurine of a boy kneeling as a rememberance, my Mom got him a rosary that she purchased in the Holy Land...for a little girl there are so many neat gifts you can pick up here...and also Cash is always welcomed..kids love Cash.

If you have any local Polish stores in your area, they usually have Polish First Communion Cards. Or you can check online for Polish Cards/Gifts or you can wait till you

get to Poland and meet the little girl and get to know what she likes.
Eurola 4 | 1,906
10 Jan 2007 #3
Invited guests also buy gold jewelry i.e. small earrings or a neckless with a cross. A wrist watch (no, not a gold one) is also a popular item.

Very often, it is the first time a girl gets a real jewelry.
bolo 2 | 304
10 Jan 2007 #4
I received an electronic watch for my first communion.
krysia 23 | 3,057
10 Jan 2007 #5
My Holy First Communion was in Warsaw and I received a picture of Jesus, a rosary and a collie.
No, the dog came later.
OP Dora 2 | 29
12 Jan 2007 #6
Hmmm Great ideas, everyone. Actually I know the little girl pretty well, I have spent a good amount of time with her & we are great friends even though my Polish is horrible & she is still learning English! I am her American Aunt :)

I was thinking some earrings or a bracelet or money... maybe a small gift & some money she can buy something she would like with.

So looking forward to my trip there.
iwona 12 | 542
13 Jan 2007 #7
I think that gift would be better than money. This will be something special from you and she will remember it.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
13 Jan 2007 #8
I got a prayer book a rosary and a wooden plaque with Jesus on - but that was a long time a go, I think I too would have preferred jewellery

a little silver jewellery box with the date and event incribed on would be nice.
krysia 23 | 3,057
29 Apr 2009 #9
Apr 29, 09, 18:44 - Thread attached on merging:
First Holy Communion in Poland

First Holy Communion. It is a BIG thing in Poland.
Some parishes require that children attending their First Holy Communion wear an "Alba", which a decorative stylish cloth, making everyone look equal.
This has become a norm over the last few years because the richer Polish families display their children in the most elegant, expensive newest fashion in order to express how rich they are, competing against other less to do families with "Look what I got".

The girls are dressed in very expensive almost bride-like creations, look like models, some wear make-up and fabulous hairdos, hair gets permed and highlighted, their ears get pierced, the boys wear expensive wool suits. Even the parents dress extravagantly, some wearing fur coats.

Communion gifts are equally expensive, such as computers, bicycles, watches, gold rings and other toys. Spreading hatred and jelousy among the poorer parents and making them feel "ashamed".

The mentality behind this is to show how much money one has and for everyone to see, not what the occassion stands for.

And because of that, it got to the point that the "Alba"s are becoming more popular, leaving less stress on the families and enjoying the occasion.
kioko - | 84
29 Apr 2009 #10
Fur coats in May... never seen. But the rest quite true and sad. Though not only Polish catholics have such attitude to First Holy Communion. In Mexico girls look like brides too. I think the whole occasion lost its sense long time ago.
poli - | 9
30 Apr 2009 #11
I got a prayer book a rosary and a wooden plaque with Jesus on - but that was a long time a go, I think I too would have preferred jewellery a little silver jewellery box with the date and event incribed on would be nice.

As I know, children receive a rosary and a prayer book from the priest in advance, parents pay for that.

The girls are dressed in very expensive almost bride-like creations, look like models, some wear make-up and fabulous hairdos, hair gets permed and highlighted, their ears get pierced, the boys wear expensive wool suits. Even the parents dress extravagantly, some wearing fur coats.

You're exaggerating a little, but to be sure I'll check it in a week time:-)

Communion gifts are equally expensive, such as computers, bicycles, watches, gold rings and other toys. Spreading hatred and jelousy among the poorer parents and making them feel "ashamed".

In this case you're right, a quad is also welcomed:-) anyway, I buy a mp4 for my nephew, I hope he'll enjoy it.
plk123 8 | 4,149
30 Apr 2009 #12
don't forget the flowers.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
30 Apr 2009 #13
First Holy Communion is yet another celerbation that has been stripped of its spiritual dimension and subjected to agrgressive pop-culture commercialism which brain-washed go-with-the-flow families feed and perpetuate. Like Sandy Clutz (Santa Claus) Christmas, it is all about spend through the nose and shop till you drop -- zero substance and mega-glitter and packaging so the filthy-rich exploiters can get even richer!
poli - | 9
30 Apr 2009 #14
don't forget the flowers.

I don't remeber anything about flowers.
Ksysia 25 | 430
13 May 2009 #15
The parents and the children will dress as best as possible to mark the occasion.
Contrary to what is being said, little will be thought of other families watching and envying. The celebrations after church will be with one's own family. People who are bothered that they have less than rich ones, should work faster and stare less.

I can't imagine how much envy and hatred there is directed to other people on the basis of wealth. (inni majom) But I would not have the event spoiled for the kid and family just to satisfy the little hearts of the enviers. The dress and jewellery are important for the little ones - and fun for the grow ups.

In Wprost or Polityka there was 3-4 years ago an article about millionaires who hide from public view by never mentioning their wealth and going to work to hide it. They live next door to you, Polonius3, and you will never be trusted with this information.
plk123 8 | 4,149
18 Apr 2010 #16
I don't remeber anything about flowers.

that's interesting.. i recall all the girls getting flowers after the ceremony.. maybe a local tradition.. i dunno.. actually i've witnessed the same thing here in the states.

.
i got a watch, a catechism, a rosary and a picture of Jesus which was kind of like a diploma or a commemorative plaque.
mek224
25 Apr 2011 #17
I would think that you could purchase a Holy Communion card in a polish neighborhood. In Philadelphia that would be in Port Richmond or Bridesburg neighborhood..
Will
13 May 2011 #18
I was invited by my polish friends to their son's first communion. What would be an appropiate amount of money (in Canada) to give the child as gift?

Thanks
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
13 May 2011 #19
Appropriate is not to give money, but a religious item. A bible, a rosary, or perhaps a small statue of Mary could be appropriate.
ukpolska
13 May 2011 #20
After a lot of searching I found a ring that was made in Jerusalem in 4 BC supposedly the year that Jesus was born and I gave it to my daughter who had her communion last Sunday, we also bought her a camera as she loves photography.

As to giving money, yes families do give money and this varies from family to family, but a rough idea will be around 200 -500 pln. But if you feel uncomfortable about giving money then combine it with a religious gift and the rest in money.
poland_
13 May 2011 #21
Appropriate is not to give money

Most kids want money these days, it was always something gold, with the price of gold these days , I personally believe it is better to give money, so the child can buy what they want with the money collected.

I found a ring that was made in Jerusalem in 4 BC supposedly the year that Jesus was born

Either a great find, was it certified in any way, just curios. Or a great story from the salesperson.
ukpolska
13 May 2011 #22
certified in any way, j

No I had correctly certified as archaeology was a passion of mine in the UK when I lived there, and I still have many contacts.
poland_
13 May 2011 #23
That makes a very good find then, well done.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
13 May 2011 #24
Most kids want money these days, it was always something gold, with the price of gold these days , I personally believe it is better to give money, so the child can buy what they want with the money collected.

Completely defeats the point of the First Communion though - it's a religious service and should be treated as such, rather than an excuse to buy expensive presents. Hence why something religious is appropriate, not money.

Of course, a good idea could be to give some religious items and make a donation to a Catholic foundation on their behalf - many churches will have their own foundations set up to help people in the parish.
Will
14 May 2011 #25
Thank you Delphiandomine, I get your point. However, that is what my polish friends do when there is a first communion. After church, there is a party and about 50 people have been invited. Cash seems to be more practical (?)
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,840
14 May 2011 #26
Hence why something religious is appropriate, not money.

Of course, a good idea could be to give some religious items and make a donation to a Catholic foundation on their behalf - many churches will have their own foundations set up to help people in the parish

oh my my......how high your horse is....

My kids were furious with me for not making them catholics when they heard their Polish cousin had copped 800 zl for his first communion. 800 zl!!! Says it all for me about the catholic church really.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,385
14 May 2011 #27
My kids were furious with me for not making them catholics when they heard their Polish cousin had copped 800 zl for his first communion. 800 zl!!! Says it all for me about the catholic church really.

this is it. kids treat it like christmas.

if you're a god parent u can double the amount.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
14 May 2011 #28
Thank you Delphiandomine, I get your point. However, that is what my polish friends do when there is a first communion. After church, there is a party and about 50 people have been invited. Cash seems to be more practical (?)

It's sad. The Catholic Church, for all its failures, has been actively trying to discourage this in Poland - many churches are choosing to only allow plain dress in the church. Sadly, the parents are still going overboard - a party for 50 people? For what?

In all seriousness, if the parents are unhappy with you giving a religious gift, then you know that the ceremony was more about appearances than religion - which is awful.

Same thing has been happening in Ireland - people are going well overboard to show how much money they're giving. And yet, along the way, the original meaning of the ceremony is being lost.

Funnily enough, if you ask most people, the gift that meant the most was usually some sort of religious item - not cash.

parents.berkeley.edu/recommend/religion/firstcommunion.html

Some great suggestions here - and certainly far more appropriate than cash.
terri 1 | 1,665
14 May 2011 #29
Generally, first communion and the whole circus that's developed around it is just about showing people how much you can afford to spend (even if it's borrowed money) and that you expect substantial presents from all those invited.

What I cannot understand is why people don't make copies of their bank statements and stick them outside their front door, so that everybody would know how much they can afford, and have the first communion for the child the way it was originally intended.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
14 May 2011 #30
First Holy Communion is succumbing to the same disease as weddings did earlier -- the hyper-commercialisation of our times. High-powered adverts have brainwashed people into allowing what since time immemorial had been family occasions par excellence fall into the ‘just reach for your credit card, we’ll do the rest’ mode.

Weddings have evolved into a wedding industry and a communion industry is well on its way to emerging. Same with studniĆ³wka. Rather than school-leavers decorating the gym with balloons and streamers and their parents preparing the eats, stretch limos are hired to whisk kids to clubs and restaurants for the festivities. So we can also speak of a studniĆ³wka industry…


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