Monday, April 6, 2009

1st communion for little king

April 6, 1929

The Associated Press reports that seven-year-old King Michael of Rumania received his first Holy Communion today. After fasting for two weeks from milk, meat and other animal products, the king confessed his sins to the Patriarch. He was granted full absolution for his sins.
Michael was accompanied by his "sad but stately mother, Princess Helen." She told that Patriarch that she sat at her son's bedside night after night until he could recite his prayers in Rumanian "without hesitation."
Michael's voice was trembling when he recited a children's' prayer, "all the loving Angel of Angels who protects childhood," without missing a single word.
His mother embraced him and gave him a kiss on the forehead. She also presented her son with a Bible. Princess Helen told her son that the Bible "shall be your guide and comfort in the serious hours of your life, which for crowned heads are more troubled than for others."
The young king will turn eight in October.


Stavros said...

The AP got this one totally wrong unfortunately. Michael, being Orthodox, received his first communion and was confirmed immediately after being baptised.

Michael was probably just received communion on a regular sunday and the AP assumed it was his first communion.


Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

The AP would have picked this up from the Roumanian media - and it points out that Michael had to fast, and recite special prayers - and received a Bible from his mother -- which would not be an ordinary Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's peculiar, but Stavros is right: Children are communed from infancy in the Orthodox Church. Perhaps the new thing here is the first confession, which happens only at the point when a child becomes aware of personal sin -- and age 7 is the traditional marker. Perhaps AP just didn't grasp the difference in practice between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. There's just no way an Orthodox child would be denied Communion until his/her 7th birthday.