She's got the white dress and the veil. He has the suit, the
tie and the waistcoat. A party is planned with family and
friends arriving from near and far. Mum and Dad may have
paid more for the festivities in these recessionary times,
but it's their son or daughter's big day out, so one to remember.
And no, the story isn't about weddings. Each year thousands
of Irish children in the Roman Catholic faith make First Holy
Communion. Communion Day is a two-part documentary strand
featuring stories of eight families and their lives as they journey
towards one of Ireland's landmark family rituals.
Click here for information on the Catholic Church's Dublin Diocese Communion policy and guidelines....
In rural Cork the Cronin family are getting ready for youngest child, Laoise's, Communion Day. 8 year old Laoise has Spina Bifida and uses a wheelchair. She's been through her share of health scares so the Cronins are looking forward to a big family celebration to mark this landmark day. Although Laoise is working with a physio, she finds walking, even with the assistance of a walker, very difficult and tiring. Will Laoise walk up the aisle to receive her First Communion?
The Lloyd family in Mayo are going against the recessionary grain and have just opened a new coffee shop in Ballyhaunis. They are also going against the flow when it comes to Communion Day. They are planning an alternative ceremony for youngest child Beth, which will be celebrated by a former priest turned Druid.
In Limerick the Nyambi family, from Cameroon, have ambitious plans for a double celebration. On the same day eldest daughter, Lorraine, makes her First Communion, little sister, Shannon, will be christened. With family travelling from abroad, will everything come together on time? And will Dad, Jean, achieve his dream of becoming an Irish citizen?
Eight-year old cycle and football enthusiast, Patrick O'Leary, is a Traveller living in Letterkenny, County Donegal. Patrick lives with his Dad sometimes and sometimes with his Mum Angela, four sisters, two dogs and a budgie. His mother is saving hard to give Patrick a Communion Day they can all be proud of, including making Patrick king of a bouncy castle for the day. But with finances tight, will Camelot come to Letterkenny?
Jessie Kelly lives in an estate in Ballyfermot, Dublin, with her mum, dad and two brothers. Jessie's mum, Marion, has a serious heart condition which requires an operation. The Kellys don't yet know if the surgery will coincide with their Communion Day date. If it does, Marion may not see her only daughter walk up the aisle.
In Wicklow town, Laura Madden has been an only child for nine years. Her parents, Aisling and Derek, went through fertility treatments in their quest for a new baby, to no avail. All that is about to change though, as teacher, Aisling (43) is expecting just two weeks before Laura's Communion Day. Can the Madden's juggle it all?
Galway is now home to the Virginio family from the Philippines. Marco and Jen's seven year-old son, Carlos, is making his Communion as well as celebrating brother, Marco Junior's, birthday. Mum and Dad work long hours supporting their large family. They've planned a Karaoke party in the house. But with thousands of miles separating them from their family in the Philipines, will their relatives make the Galway Communion Day?
In rural Offaly, Ally McLoughlin and family are planning a simple garden party for relatives and friends. With Ally and Mum Michelle coeliac, the challenge is to make gluten-free food that all the family can enjoy. Dad Dermot has worries too. His job at a local factory may be under threat just as Communion Day looms...