Sunday, May 22, 2011

Fête de la Première des Communions

Today we had the honor of attending Kylian’s communion. Kylian’s family was among the first we met here in Clermont-Ferrand, and I was excited to participate in the service at one of the most beautiful churches in Clermont, the Eglise Saint-Pierre les Minimes, on Place de Jaude.

In 1470, when Saint-François de Paul created a new religious order, he called it "Minimal" because humility would be the first of the virtues. About 200 years later the order of Franciscan monks moved to Clermont and built the chapel, which after various renovations is the church today known as the Eglise Saint-Pierre les Minimes.

The communion class on the steps of the church
The service today was to celebrate the first communion of the children of the Notre-Dame of Clermont parish and the Massillon school. The chants sounded beautiful, sung in French and reverberating throughout the church due to the high vaulted ceilings. Rain was in the forecast, but sunlight illuminated the beautiful stained glass and shone upon the fifty-one students as they emerged on the steps of the church after the ceremony. Even top-flight paparazzi would have been elbowed out of the prime photo angles by the rightfully and proudly shutter-happy parents and relatives!

The crowd of parents-paparazzi waiting for their chance

We had been invited to Marine’s home after the service to celebrate. After an aperatif of finely aged wine with a hint of cognac we enjoyed several entrees, little smoked salmon sandwiches and bacon cheese breads being my favorites. The beautiful weather held for the barbecue in the backyard; kebabs and sausage served with a variety of salads. The food was a hit, guests went back for seconds and even after big plates of food, dessert found eager takers.

The kids were having a ball as well. In and out of the kiddie pool, they roamed the backyard in their swimsuits with the excitement of freedom. With a playhouse, swingset, sandbox and lots of toys – and several handfuls of like-aged playmates - they stayed busy, only surfacing for food. The older kids (as well as some of the dads) played futbol and wii, and the party didn’t break up until evening.

3 amigas, 3 amigos!

Thank you Marine for a wonderful Sunday afternoon, and congratulations to Kylian on his holy communion, a noteworthy step in a young man’s life!

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