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The First Communion - The Commercial Side

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Dearest hearts,

I can see more and more how our life gets transformed into a commercial rush, a life where people make money in order to buy goods that maybe they don't even need, or really want! We buy more, consume more and demand more and more money in return for our daily work. We ask for the money in order to exchange one good to another... let's say that you have a functional iPhone 5s, a phone that never let you down, a phone that you know by heart, and you hear that they released iPhone 6s. Let's face it! You will want (not need!) that phone in your hands ASAP. You will discard the old one, in the pile of junk nobody needs nor wants, and you will always go for "the next best thing". We live in an age where even the small ones demand the latest goods on the market, and whom else but us is there to blame?!
The small, dangerous, "angels"
Around the month of April - May you will see, for sure, in Poland families with small kids of ages 7-8 dressed up all in white. They are preparing to get to, or come from, the church where they celebrated a magical and historical religious moment in their life: The First Communion. This celebration is typical for the Catholic Church, as the First Communion is given the first time when the child is old enough to understand what is happening and take the responsibility of being part of the body or the church. In the Orthodox Church the newly born baby gets baptised quite fast and has godparents (a married couple connected with the parents). From then on they are part of the church and they should go at least twice a year, at the big holidays (of course I refer here to Easter and Christmas), to tell their sins to the priest and repent for them. It comes after a period of fast and the last act in the church is being part of the ceremony where you are given bread and wine - the body and blood of Christ. This will be done at all ages in the Orthodox Church. On the other hand, I believe the Catholics are more logical into giving the child time to at least understand the basic principles of the church. The child can be baptised at any time up to 1 year after which he/she is born and the godparents don't necessary have to be a couple ;) besides that, the child won't be given the bread and wine until the First Communion. This gives one time, even if one is so young, to think things through and understand the step they make. 
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It would be nice if people would manage to keep their thoughts and actions pure throughout their life, but somehow we always fall into temptation... I was talking to my dear friend and husband, about the times when he was small and the differences between First Communion then and now. It's sad how consumerism has infiltrated everywhere and where before it was a change to get all the family and close friends together and celebrate the "growing up" of a small sheep of God's herd, it became a "let's show off and buy the most expensive things" kind of party. When we were wee lasses/lads it was customary to do the celebration of the First Communion after the church ceremony. It was usually done at home where all the family (aunts and uncles...) and close friends were invited for a small party. The happy kid would get gifts - the most expensive and well known gifts would be a good watch or a good bike, that they would parade and be proud for a veey long while. Of course there would be sweets and maybe some money as well, all being taken care of by the parents. Nowdays, from what I can hear and see... all the world has gone mad: the First Communion is being setup like a wedding reception party and the gifts... well the most expensive ones I should not name, but if you are a godfather/godmother now you should be prepared to buy the spoiled brat a good laptop ;) not a tablet, not a cell phone, not a WII game... if you are a simple guest you can bring that ;) but if you are the godfather/godmother make sure you pull out loads more cash from that bank account ;)
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The sad part is that the kids know that and they expect that. They expect more and more because that is what they learned from their parents. There was no one to tell them no, there was no one to tell them you need to work hard for those things, no one told them life doesn't bring you things on a silver platter... and more important nobody told them that the fact that they had their First Communion is a prize/a gift in itself. Being part of the church, believing in God is a gift in itself, considering how some countries ban the right to believe in God. Parents teach, maybe unconsciously, children to behave like themselves and expect more and more. Can you imagine how a kid would react nowdays if for their First Communion you would bring them a watch?! I bet there would be crying and screaming and epic tantrums, along with "WTF" looks from the angry parents as well. I guess we do forget how we were when we were small... I guess some of us truly forget what we should really want from life and what should matter the most. In the end, are we taking those goods to the grave with us?

Yours sincerely,
The Twisted Red LadyBug that hates celebrations turned commercial