Catholic First Communion

Meaning and Best Gifts

Amongst Hispanics Catholic First Communion is a very important celebration for our children. At a young age we prepare our little ones to receive the Eucharist for the first time.

Adults can also have their First Communion, but it is not common amongst Hispanic families since we pretty much practice the Roman Catholic faith from childhood.

This is one of the happiest days because for the first time children receive Jesus, therefore we dress our girls in white elaborate dresses and our boys in dark suits for this special occasion. After mass and pictures we gather and celebrate.

Catholic First Communion Preparation

catholic-first-communion-2Children receive Jesus for the first time and the preparation for this event requires lots of studying. We start by learning about the 10 commandments, the catechism, and the before and after communion prayers. All this preparation leads to a good confession which allows your soul to be pure and ready for the Communion.

Celebrating 1st. Communion Amongst Hispanics

Spring is the time of the year when most of First Communions happen amongst Hispanic Americans. Since it is a big celebration we plan ahead to have a fiesta with family members and friends.

The party includes typical foods or full lunch at our home or a catered party at a catering hall. A cake is a must with some decoration pertaining to Jesus. I had the inscription JHS which means Jesus Hostia Santa or Jesus Holy Communion on my 1st Communion cake.

In South America we primarily celebrate at home and we invite many people to the celebration.  catholic-first-communion-1We hire a special photographer or our parents take our pictures. One special picture receiving our First Communion and one with the group of children we prepare with, is one of our most priceless memories.

Many girls carry a bible and First Communion rosary beads that our parents or a special family member gives us for this occasion. I remember doing so and the feeling of pride still remains to this day while walking down the aisle entering the church.

I did not have a First Communion doll but I see many Hispanic Americans giving them for 1st communion.

Gifts for First Communion

Gifts for Holy Communion are very specific. They can be part of the attire or relate to the celebration. For girls we give bibles, First Communion rosary beads. Necklaces and pendants with crosses are for both boys and girls.

Photo remembrance albums where we can keep all our precious moments, poems about the occasion, and a sample or our invitation are a must.

We also give missals, prayer books, and bibles for both.


First Communion Necklaces

Some of the most precious mementos of our celebration are the necklaces our parents and family members give us this special day.  We receive them the day of or before our First Communion because this is the piece we will be wearing when we receive Jesus for the first time.  I personally prefer medallions or rosary beads.  They are feminine and you can consider them heirlooms.

 First Communion Attire Amongst Hispanics

Girls wear a white dress down to the ankles. We love to make it ornate and wide. Many girls also wear a tiara and gloves. White closed shoes are essential and a necklace with a cross is a symbol of our faith. Many also have veils that don’t cover the face but are placed on the back of our heads.

Many love to adorn their hair with flower pieces, tiaras, or a special styling that require elaborate work.

Boys also have their moment to shine. They dress in suits dark or light with dark shoes and perfectly combed hair. The most common colors for suits are black, dark blue, gray and navy.

Long pants is the norm, although I have a picture of my father in his attire for his First Communion wearing short dark pants holding a huge cross and a white candle.


  1. I remembered my first communion at church. Before we are ready to take our first communion, we undergo lots of studying. We studied about the 10 commandments, catechism, and prayers. And our teachers also encouraged us to confess and be pure before God. What I was most excited about was wearing the white dress and we all looked like angels.

    • Marcela Hede says:

      I am very familiar with your experience. I attended Catholic school and preparing for our First Communion was very important. I prepared with the “Catecismo del Padre Astete.” Don’t know if you are familiar with it. The whole class did the First communion at the school’s chapel and also, like you, dressing all in white was an unforgettable experience.

  2. I remember my First Communion when i was age 12,back in 1974.I was in the class with the 7 and 8 year olds and my parish was very strict.The boys all had to wear white suits and ties and us girls had to wear white,poofy,short sleeve,top of the knees communion dresses with the veil,white tights and the white ‘mary jane’shoes.The parish considered our communion dresses as extensions of the baptism gowns we were baptized in as babies,so to symbolize the purity of our baptisms,we all had to wear a cloth diaper and plastic pants[rubberpants] under our tights with an under shirt as our top.My parish made the rubberpants available for the parents to buy and there was only two brands that were allowed-the Empire brand in the extra large super size and the Playtex toddler extra large size.My parents got the Playtex rubberpants for me and they fit surprisingly well over my diaper.I felt really special in my outfit and everyone who saw me that day said i looked gorgeous!

    • Marcela Hede says:

      Claudine, what a beautiful memory! You seem to have it fresh in your mind. I relate to many of the details you share in your post. Thanks for sharing your personal experience.

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