First Communion Ritual Ousted of Meaning by Secular Flowering Festival

Country: Spain

Date of incident: May 30, 2009

The City Major of Rivas-Vaciamadrid, José Masa, announced that he was going to organize a celebration for children between the ages of 8 to 10 similar to the religious first communion upon the request of the community. The festivities would be called "fiestas del florecimiento" (flowering festival). "It would be a 'laity first communion'; but I do not want to call it this way because then, the right wing blames me for the celebration of laity baptisms and marriages using Catholic Church rituals", he clarified.

Rivas-Vaciamadrid, ruled by a left wing party, has the highest percentage of young population in the whole country; 22% of its inhabitants are under 16, and the average population age is 30. "This is the main reason for us to promote laity values", Masa concluded. Source: (page 75)