Back in December, after making her First Reconciliation, my daughter, along with the rest of her catechist class at our parish, was asked to create a special banner for her upcoming First Communion.
After reviewing several of the online options for First Communion banner kits by Illuminated Ink, my daughter just couldn’t make up her mind! She liked the Lamb and Grapes from this kit, the Dove from this kit, and the Chalice and Cross desgin from this kit. Rather than purchase several different kits so that she could have the elements she wished, we settled on crafting the banner together ourselves.
Our parish supplied each child with a white felt square and wooden dowel to serve as the background. My daughter decided to use a dark brown felt piece as the backdrop to symbolize the empty tomb discovered on Easter Sunday.
Flying just above the empty tomb, she placed a dove, a reminder of the Holy Spirit and all of the graces she would receive from the Sacrament.
Dove: symbol of the Holy Ghost and used especially in representations of our Lord’s Baptism and the Pentecost. It also symbolizes the release of the soul in death, and is used to recall Noe’s dove, a harbinger of hope.~Fisheaters
A light brown trefoil edged cross was added to help remind her of the cross that Christ endured so that we could be redeemed.
Trefoil: a stylized shamrock, such as St. Patrick used in evangelizing Ireland, the trefoil is a symbol of the Most Holy Trinity.~Fisheaters
A white felt host, embroidered with Chi Rho , suspended above the golden chalice served as a reminder of what she would receive on her special day of the sacrament.
“Chi-Rho” or “sigla”: the letters “X” and “P,” representing the first letters of the title “Christos,” were eventually put together to form this symbol for Christ (“Chi” is pronounced “Kie”). It is this form of the Cross that Constantine saw in his vision along with the Greek words, TOUTO NIKA, which are rendered in Latin as “In hoc signo vinces” and which mean “in this sign thou shalt conquer.~Fisheaters.
At the base of the chalice, laurel leaves with a cluster of purple grapes, symbolizing the everlasting life that would be granted for her faithfulness, as well as God’s eternal faithfulness to his people, was also a reminder of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and of the wine transformed into the blood of our Lord.
Laurel, often used in wreaths as in ancient Roman times, is a symbol of victory and accomplishment, and came to be seen as a symbol of Christ’s victory. Laurel is often see, too, on tombstones, and is the root of the word “laureate,” meaning crowned with laurel, or accomplished. ~Fisheaters
Nestled among the leaves, tablets embroidered with the roman numeral ten reminded her of the desire to hold true to the commandments of God and to remember the importance of the sacrament of Penance before entering into communion with the Lord.
The Symbology of Numbers: 10: the Commandments; the Plagues of Egypt ~Fisheaters
A white lamb just below the cross symbolized how our Lord sacrificed himself for us on Good Friday so that we could have everlasting life with him in heaven. It also symbolized the sacrifice of at the altar that would take place during Mass.
Lamb: symbol of Christ as the Paschal Lamb and also a symbol for Christians (as Christ is our Shepherd and Peter was told to feed His sheep). The lamb is also a symbol for St. Agnes (Feast Day 21 January), virgin martyr of the early Church.~Fisheaters
She was quite pleased with her finished banner and is happy that it serves as a wonderful treasure to help her remember the importance of her special day.