First Holy Communion. Photo from the Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC).

Editor’s note: This entry was adapted and reprinted with permission from ”Cultural Traditions,” from the Hale’-ta Series, Department of CHamoru Affairs, Government of Guam.

Church rites

First Holy Communion and Confirmation

Primera Kumuñon (First Holy Communion) and Komfetmasion (Confirmation) are church rites that have become CHamoru traditions among Catholics. The celebrative nature of these occasions is not as elaborate as the baotismo. The first formal activity commences with the kumuñon (Holy Communion) and followed with the komfitmasion.

The baptismal godparents are the principal witnesses in the Holy Communion ceremony; however, only one godparent with the same sex as the child is selected for the komfetmasion. Customarily, the parents select the Confirmation godparent, usually an associate at work or friend. However, in some families, the child gets to select his or her godparent. Both occasions begin with a Mass and are followed by a small breakfast or dinner consisting mainly of the nuclear family and the godparents. The Amotsan Kumiñion (Communion breakfast) is served either at home or restaurant depending on the finances of the parents. Chenchule’ in the form of money or gifts is given to the child.

A small dinner party after the church ceremony for Confirmation may be held at the parents home or at a restaurant depending on the parents’ finances. Chenchule’ is also given at Confirmation – money, or the Confirmation apparel.