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The Celebration of First Holly Communion in Irish Schools

While talking about Ireland it’s impossible to not talk about the aspect of Irish religion. For us, whose childhood was under the influence of atheism, this seemed especially unique. Right after our arrival to Ireland, we were absolutely shocked when we saw a boy bless himself while walking past a church. For us this was unusual.

Soon after that we found out about the importance of religion in the Irish society. We also found out that the problem with Northern Ireland is connected with the opposing opinions of Catholics and Protestants on the Northern part of the island.

Even the flag of Ireland is a symbol of the peace between the two religions in the country. The green represents the Catholics, the orange the Protestants and the white represents the peace between them.

The Celebration of First Holly Communion

The highlight of this religious subject is the celebration of the First Holly Communion, which happens in Irish school during the Spring months. If you take into account that 92% of the Irish population is Catholic you can understand why this event is so important.

The sacrament of First Holly Communion is the most important for Christian-Catholic children after Baptism, which is held in their early years. In preparation for the sacrament of First Holly Communion, girls and boys in Catholic schools take a closer look at stories from the bible and go through the sacrament of First Confession. A month later the actual First Communion takes place.

The Celebration of First Holly Communion

You have to see the enlightened faces of the children, the proud faces of the parents and happy faces of the teachers to know how important First Holly Communion is to the Irish. The fancy suits of the boys and white dresses of the girls particularly bring out the importance of these events.

Even though the cost of a boys suit costs more than 100 Euro, and a girls dress costs 2.5 – 3 times more than a suit, even poor families buy these clothes for their children’s First Holly Communion.

The Celebration of First Holly Communion

Usually after the mass ends, the parents of the children that had just had their First Holly Communion, go to a place where they can celebrate this event. For most it’s a cafe or restaurant, pub or family picnic. Usually friends and relatives are invited to join in the celebration.

But in Ireland the religions sacraments don’t end there. In sixth class of a Catholic and Protestant school the children under go another sacrament called Confirmation, which we will hopefully tell you about soon.

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