Throughout the month of September First Communions are taking place in the parishes in Ende Diocese. We celebrated in our local parish last Sunday. The Mass was simply beautiful and seemed to flow quickly despite being three hours long! It was touching to see the children and parents stand together as they received Communion in their family groups. The celebration of First Communion here is something akin to a mini wedding. The children were stunningly dressed. The boys standing proud in gleaming white suits. The girls in their white dresses, their hair carefully crafted and faces delicately made up. There were parties in every home. They lasted from early afternoon until late at night, in some cases into the small hours. We were invited to nine parties. We went to each one. We greeted the family, gave a gift to the child who made First Communion and had some food. By the end of the day we were a little weary and more than a bit overfull of food – but happy with our day. Three of our neighbours were hosting First Communion parties. The music played all night. Our house shook in time with the rhythm. Despite our less than good night’s sleep we welcomed the next day happily, if a little sleepily. We have already received invitations for next week. We’re looking forward to next Sunday already.

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