First Communion Money Giving Etiquette

girl (11-13) standing praying wearing her first holy communion dress

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A child's First Communion is a joyous time in her life and you naturally want to mark the occasion with a gift. Jewelry and religious items are common gifts, but money is always appropriate. Often, the parents will set aside the money a child receives for First Communion in a savings account for the future.

Who Can Give Money

Religious gifts, like Bibles, plaques and rosaries are common gifts for a child's First Communion. However, these types of gifts are personal and often reserved for those closest to the child. Others, particularly non-Catholics, might find that money is a more appropriate gift, especially if you want to avoid giving the child something she already has. Close family members may also give a child money, in addition to the religious-themed gift.


The most appropriate way to give the gift of money is in cash form, included in a card. Many First Communion-themed cards that you buy commercially have a holder for the money. Alternatively, you may choose to purchase a savings bond, timing it to mature around the time when the child will be attending college. This allows you to spend less and give more.

Token Gifts

If you dislike giving just money, consider a small, token gift to go along with it. This might be a small stuffed animal, a picture frame or a religious-themed bookmark. Doing this allows you to give the child something he can enjoy now, while the parents save the money for later.

How Much

The amount of money you give a child for First Communion varies widely, based on location and family standards. In some areas, $20 is common. In general, though, those closest to the child, such as a grandparent, aunt, or godparent, should give more money than someone not as close, such as a neighbor or family friend. If the parents are hosting the party at a restaurant or having a catered event at home, consider giving a bit more than you would if it was a casual event, to cover the cost of your food. Amounts between $20 and $200 are appropriate, but if you're unsure, ask someone in the family or congregation what the best amount would be.