Fr David Bradley had written to parents of children from Marymount School in the town who were scheduled to receive First Communion last weekend at the Holy family Church.
In a gently-worded hint, he requested that parents desist from hiring stretch limousines or horse-drawn carriages because of “demand on parking space”.
He explained that guidelines were being issued about behaviour at the ceremony because incidents had occurred at previous First Communion ceremonies that “completely ruined” what were otherwise nice ceremonies.
However, several parents ignored the request not to use elaborate transport and some children were seen arriving at the church in vehicles which included a stretch limousine, a 'Princess’ horse-drawn carriage and another pink limousine.
One parent said later that minor traffic disruption was caused by a glass carriage and some large cars at the same time and that after Fr Bradley spoke to some of the occupants, they moved along.
The parent said she supported Fr Bradley’s position because the ceremony was “not a wedding” and she believed the use of ostentatious transport “takes from the meaning of the day”.
Other requests to parents in the priest’s letter related to the use of cameras and to the importance of switching off mobile phones.
Fr Bradley also asked them to ensure that neither they or the children chewed gum during the ceremony and that no-one was to stand at the back of the Church.
He also issued an instruction that anyone who went out of the Church during Mass to smoke would not be re-admitted.
His letter said it was “regretful” that he had to impose such conditions “as many families and guests are respectful and prayerful during ceremonies”.
“However we do have to be realistic and be mindful of those who can and have in the past, completely ruined what otherwise may have been a lovely ceremony”.SIC: CIN