Families spending too much on Holy Communion - teacher

Some children receive up to €1,000.
James Wilson
James Wilson

18.56 20 Apr 2023

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Families spending too much on...

Families spending too much on Holy Communion - teacher

James Wilson
James Wilson

18.56 20 Apr 2023

Share this article

Families are “going overboard” and spending too much on Holy Communion, a primary school teacher has suggested. 

John Ledwith has been preparing the boys of O'Connell Primary on Dublin’s North Richmond Street for their big day and believes the focus of the day should be on the children. 

“The boys are really looking forward to their Communion,” he told Newstalk reporter Henry McKean. 


“They’ve planned and prepared really well in school. On the day, it’s about a celebration and more about families coming together. 

“[They should] not expect too much in an envelope - somewhere in the region of 20 would be fine. 

“The communion, it is a big social event… but in recent years you can see it’s going overboard with spending lots of money on communion suits and booking out fancy places for parties afterwards. 

“We just have to remember it’s about the children and about what the Church teaches about being kind and being respectful.” 

A survey by Ulster Bank found children are given an average of 600 but the boys of O'Connell Primary said they expected a little more.  

“A million,” one said. 

“Six billion,” another suggested. 

Back in the day, Henry received a princely £15 but The Hard Shoulder guest presenter Des Bishop was given “hundreds upon hundreds of dollars” in 1982. 

First Holy Communion

John Lowe of said some children receive up to 1,000 but he recommends friends and relative gift with restraint. 

“Generally though, a maximum of 20 euros should be the gift placed in that card,” he said. 

“If someone gives €50 that child may think less of that person gifting 20. 

“But that person could be your aunt, your favourite aunt who has to survive on her state pension - so, it represents a potential hardship for her that €20. 

“Obviously, parents and godparents might gift more.” 

Out on the streets of Dublin, opinions were divided by how much a child should be given. 

“Definitely 50 [for a] relative,” one man said. 

“Only relatives - friends [should get] 25.” 

Another was more generous: 

“Well, it would depend who the child is,” he said. 

“If it’s a niece or nephews or cousins, I think the minimum would be 50.   

“If it’s a close niece or nephew, I’d say €100.

“But a neighbour or a friend, probably 20 would be the minimum you’d put in a child’s card.” 

Most Catholic children celebrate their First Holy Communion at seven or eight - the age at which the Church considers them old enough to understand the concept of right or wrong.

Main image: First Holy Communion. Picture by: 

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