SummaryA tradition started with her oldest child years ago, Gina Berrios shares the blessings of First Communion Rosary making event she organizes for her parish.
A few months before my oldest child received her First Communion, I gathered her classmates for a rosary making day.
Thankfully, for the last ten years my parish has continued this tradition. Every year about this time, I collect rosary making supplies for the First Communicants in our parish. I would like to share this special event so that you might consider doing something similar in your parish.
Around the beginning of the year, we send out a letter to each family in the parish with a child receiving First Communion. We give the parents about two weeks to return the form with payment to the parish office. This gives me about six weeks to order the rosary parts and gather all the necessary materials.
We choose a Sunday about two months before First Communion for our rosary making day. It takes each child about one to one-and-a-half hours to make a rosary. We ask that each child come with an adult (parent, godparent, grandparent) to help the child with making the rosary.
About a week before the rosary making day, I gather with a group of moms and we prep the rosaries. We cut two pieces of jewelry wire: a long one for all five decades, a smaller piece for the beads by the crucifix. We attach the crucifix to one end of the smaller wire, so the children can string the beads onto the wire. We also attach one end of the large wire to one side of the center medal so that there is an anchor piece for when the kids string the beads on this portion.
The center medal is a First Communion chalice and host. The crucifix is engraved on the back with the date of the First Communion, so that the kids have a reminder of their First Communion day.
We use nice blue and white glass beads for the Our Father and Hail Mary beads, and crystal spacer beads for the spaces in between the prayer beads. When completed the rosaries are very beautiful.
When we gather on our rosary making Sunday, each child has a Ziploc bag with his or her name on it, filled with the beads and two pieces of wire. They also have a plate with felt on it and a pile of spacer beads. (The felt keeps the beads from rolling everywhere.) We give everyone an instruction sheet for how to space the beads. Sometimes a child comes with a parent who may not be Catholic, or maybe has not prayed the rosary in a long time. So it is helpful to give everyone an instruction sheet.
Once everyone has gathered we briefly talk about Our Lady of Fatima and how she gave her message to children. She asked them to pray the rosary every day for peace and the conversion of sinners. We encourage the kids to pray the rosary often! Our Knights of Columbus council supplies the “How to pray the Rosary” pamphlets for each child.
As the children finish their rosaries, I and a group of helpers go around with crimping beads and wire cutters to fasten the remaining ends of wire to the other two loops on the center medal, completing the rosary. While the children are waiting, we put tape around the end of the wire. Nothing is worse than an entire rosary worth of beads crashing to the floor and all across the room!
Towards the end of the rosary making, one of our priests comes over to bless the children’s rosaries. It is a beautiful time.
A few years ago, a friend stopped me at church. Her mother had recently passed away, and they prayed a rosary at her wake. She said that when her two children were getting ready to go, they grabbed their “First Communion Rosary” to take with them to pray for their grandmother. Those rosaries were their special, cherished rosaries.
This year we are expanding our rosary making tradition. We will be making a First Communion Rosary for each member of our parish’s RCIA class, as they will be making their First Communion too!