My daughter was given a tiara to wear for her first Communion.
I was staunchly opposed to this tiara. In fact, I’m pretty staunchly opposed to tiaras for just about any occasion. Toddler dress-up is just fine. But brides wearing tiaras give me the heebie-jeebies. That tiara signals to me that we’re taking the focus off the actual sacrament and turning our focus to the bride herself. Sure, it’s her big day. But it’s her big day because of the steps that she and her husband are taking together — in front of God. The bride isn’t the only star of her wedding, just as the focus of first Communion isn’t on my daughter. She certainly is a focal point. But the focus is on the sacrament and her relationship with God. I didn’t want this tiara — or anything else that goes along with how we celebrate a first Communion — to take away from that focus.
At the same time, I was conflicted about saying a huge, outright “NO” to the tiara, as it was a gift from her grandmother. One of my goals as a parent is to not be the overbearing, gate-keeping, controlling type.
But the implications of wearing a tiara for her first Communion still bothered me. What to do?
Fortunately, my daughter was the one who gave me the answer. She had recently been baptized. Before her baptism, we repeatedly asked her, “Why do you want to be baptized?” — just to make sure that the answer wasn’t, “So I can receive my first Communion with my friends.”
Thank goodness that was never the response! She consistently replied, “I want to be a child of God.”
That is a great reason to be baptized.
Furthermore, as a baptized child of God, she became a legitimately adopted daughter of the Almighty God, the King above all kings. Under these terms, she is — quite honestly — a princess, a daughter of The One King. Under that circumstance, it’s perfectly acceptable for her to wear a tiara. In fact, it might even be fitting.
In the end, I insisted that she take off the tiara during the actual Mass. After all, we want the focus to be on Jesus, the whole reason we are able to consider ourselves children of God. Even in the book of Revelations, kings lay their crowns down at the feet of Jesus. Clearly, my daughter should, too.
But after Mass, she was free to wear that tiara all day — every day, even. She didn’t earn it, but it’s rightfully hers, because of who her Father is.
It’s a lesson I need to remember for myself now and again!
Copyright 2019 Jill Michelle Douglas