Children celebrate a virtual First Holy Communion

A group of children made a virtual First Holy Communion via video link during the weekend as Catholic Communion ceremonies have been cancelled because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions.

Ten students from three primary schools in Northern Ireland took part in a special video link-up with local parish priest Fr George Begley.

Jane O’Kelly, whose daughter made her First Holy Communion, says it was a lovely occasion.

“She recorded a prayer of the faithful earlier and I whatsapped the video to Fr George who played it during the Communion Mass.”

“Other children recorded prayers too. Everyone got involved.”

Laoise, who is nine, wore her Communion dress and was joined by her father and sisters while Jane gave her the Eucharist.

“Fr George consecrated the hosts at an earlier mass today and then families were given different time slots to collect them.”

Another parent, Anna Marsella Horan, whose eight-year old son Sebastian also took part in the virtual service, says all the parents had trained in the local church on how to dispense Communion to their child.

“It was explained that our child has to say ‘Amen’ and we were shown how to place our hands correctly for when we gave them the Eucharist.”

Sebastian celebrated the occasion with a special family party at home.

Begley says he is delighted with how the virtual Holy Communion service went.

“The parish pastoral council decided to offer local families the option of waiting for a physical celebration or going ahead with one by video link.”

“The parents of 10 pupils took up the offer of a virtual Communion. It gave me a real sense of what the early Catholic church must have been like, when people gathered for mass in each other’s homes.”

“I have not heard of this happening anywhere else and perhaps not every parish would give their blessing but it worked well for us.”

Begley says holding virtual Confirmation ceremonies would be more difficult.

“You have to anoint the child with oil and that would be problematic with social distancing.”


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: ,