They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder so it’s not any surprise that two people can completely disagree on the visual merits of something. I’ve discovered that money also falls into this subjective arena. What one person considers outrageously expensive may be pocket change for another. Why bring this up? Because of a something that happened this year in Ireland.
You can read the details here but basically, the Irish Government decided to eliminate grants for first communion. Who knew such a thing existed? Apparently, people can receive 300 Euros from the government to offset the cost of first communion dresses, suits and whatever else is needed for the big day. This concept blew me away. What about separation of Church and State? What about spending what you can afford? What is the message that is being sent?
Mind you, I’m not against a big celebration or designer communion dresses. In fact, that’s what I sell. Designer communion dresses. Granted it would be easy for me to encourage a sky’s-the-limit spending but it just doesn’t feel right. First Communion has inner and outer aspects and it’s easy to get caught up in the outer, physical aspects. The outfits, the pictures, the party. When it was my turn, I wanted to celebrate the sacrament with loved ones, with all the trimmings. I wanted a memory that would last a lifetime. However, in order to determine what to spend, I created a budget and stuck to it (mostly.) The bottom line is spend what YOU can afford and what feels appropriate.
So, what do you think? Should government grants be available for religious ceremonies? How much should you spent on First Communion? Add your comment below and let me know.