29 June 2012

Hannah's First Holy Communion. . .

Hannah, our oldest, celebrated her First Holy Communion at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Hinckley, Leicestershire this past Saturday, 24th June after a long & thorough preparation--that girl of mine knew exactly what she was doing!!  There are 6 other girls and 7 boys in her communion class; most of them are her classmates and some are her closest friends here in the UK.

Getting her dress was an interesting process; we had gotten one that we brought home and decided was too much. . .it was fancier than my wedding dress.  The ladies at the Catholic shop very graciously exchanged the dress for something a little more like what Keith and I envisioned!  Luckily Hannah liked the new one. . .and I let her get fancier shoes than she was going to be able to get, so she was all for it!!


Trying it all on for Daddy.

Father Frank held a special Mass just for the Communion, so we were able to spend the morning at home relaxing.  Daddy made pancakes & eggs--we painted toenails & fingernails.  Then we got everyone dressed and got Hannah's hair and veil sorted. . and then it was off to church!  The kids had a small rehearsal with Father Frank and Mrs. Quinn (their teacher and mum to one of the boys receiving communion) and I had to set up our table for the get-together after Mass. 

Hannah wanted Subway, Doritos, and my little chocolate chip cookies for her celebration meal!!

And the nerves were setting in. . .  all of the kids were so sweet in their nervousness!


It was one of those tough relocation moments for all of us.  Each child was assigned a pew for their family to sit in; ours, understandably, was empty except for the five of us and Hannah's prayer partner.  Had we been in the States, we would have needed more than one pew for the 22 members of our immediate family, plus any other Brummels & Butlers that might have joined us.  (They were with us in spirit & prayer, though, I have no doubt!)  Bless Hannah, though, she is so positive. . .she just keeps talking about being surrounded by her family the first time she receives Holy Communion in the States.  I am so proud of the young lady that she is becoming; I see her Daddy's strength of character in her more and more every day!!

Hannah & her good friend, Carys
The families met in the parish hall after Mass to have a cake for all of the kids, and then some of the families stuck around and had a meal.  Each of us brought our own food & drink, etc.  It was a little chaotic at first, but it was nice to be able to share the day with friends.

Hannah with her prayer partner, Mary.  Each year, Father Frank asks older parish members to pair up with each of the kids in the communion class.  They spend some time together in the weeks leading up to First Communion, and the prayer partners pray for each other.  Mary was also standing up with Hannah and our family when she received Communion.  Hannah and Mary have gotten together a little bit and hope to spend some time together this summer--it is Father Frank's hope that friendships can bloom across the generations!

Cailin, Carys, & Hannah

Cailin, Carys, Hannah, & Neve (a friend from their class at school). . .I couldn't decide which picture I liked the best, so I put them both in!

Hannah with Father Frank
I got Hannah her own little cupcake since there was a big cake for all of the kids--which Hannah didn't get a piece of :( 

Father Frank arranged for a professional photographer and videographer to be at the Mass, so hopefully I will be able to add some pictures of Hannah during the service.

We are so proud of our girl and how full of faith she is; I am constantly reminded of just how good God is when I see the Holy Spirit in Hannah's smile!!