First Holy Communion is, in the Roman Catholic tradition, a time for families to gather and celebrate the commitment of a child to his or her faith. Depending on family traditions and style, it may be appropriate (and expected) for the godparents to raise a toast as a way of commending the new communicant's decision, explaining the meaning of the sacrament, honoring the presence of relatives and encouraging the child to continue in faith.
Recognizing the Communicant
A first Communion toast should recognize the child who is the new communicant by acknowledging the important of his or her commitment and describing some of his or her personal qualities. The godparent can say something such as, "[This child] exemplifies patience, kindness to siblings, and gentleness of spirit" and conclude by saying, "His commitment to Christ is an example to all of us."
Explaining the Meaning
A godparent can take the opportunity of a toast to direct the attention of those gathered toward the Eucharist and explain what it means. This may be a brief reminder of the doctrine of transubstantiation, the miracle by which bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus, followed by a statement about the significance of this miracle for the transformed life of the communicant.
First Communion is a family event, so it is appropriate to acknowledge the effort made by family and friends to gather in celebration, and to recognize the importance of family in helping to guide and form the spiritual life of the communicant. The godparents may say, "The whole community of the church is a family of which this child is now a part."
The toast may end with a statement of encouragement and commendation to the child by the godparents, who may say, "We encourage you to continue to receive Christ in your heart and to walk with God for the rest of your life, and each of us will accompany you on that journey."
- Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images