When I was 8 I looked forward to my first Holy Communion. This is when a child receives Communion in the Catholic Church for the first time. I had gone to catechism classes and we were prepared.
There wasn't much fussed for Boys, but for the girls ...that was a different matter altogether! The dress and veil were very important, and (even though it shouldn't have been) the best part for me was going to pick out my dress
As luck would have it ...I didn't. Mom picked it out and in turn I wasn't in love with it. ..not yet.
I wanted a long dress....Mom chose short.
I wanted shiny satin material....Mom chose Lace.
I wanted pearls and rhinestones...Mom thought it was perfect just the way it was.
The one thing I did love was the little white purse that included a white pearl and crystal rosary and tiny mass book. This purse is exactly like the one I had.
And of course the little crown and veil. This one looks a lot like that one I wore.
My Mother bought the generic one that the Church suggested we all wear. I didn't care, as long as it looked like a crown I was happy.
I remember walking to church in my dress, gloves and veil and feeling everything was perfect...I even changed my mind about the dress.
Here on Long Island First Holy Communions are a very very big deal. Catering halls are booked a year in advance and It is not uncommon for a family to go to more than one celebration in a weekend. DJs are hired and florists are already swamped before that big wedding push in June. It seems that it's all about the party and not enough attention goes to what the day is all about.
My own daughter had a simple, but beautiful dress of her choosing and I made her little silk flower bouquet. We celebrated with just immediate family at the house and we all had a good time.
I was curious to see if Communion fashions were any different in past decades and this is what I found.
1800's This girl seemed older and it looks like she might have worn a corset of some sort...ouch
1920's she kind of looks like a 1920's flapper right?
1940's This little girl had it all. The long tea length dress and bible
1960's Dresses were a bit shorter
I dug out my own dress
My Communion Dress
lace on dress
My Daughter's Dress
Detail ~~~Looks like rain drops
Looking at all the pictures of communion fashions...styles really haven't changed much. Attention to pretty details was key. Moms in the 1800's probably fussed over their daughter's dresses to make sure everything was perfect and Moms today do too. Little girls then most likely fantasized and looked forward to wearing the dress and veil as much as they do now. I don't think that will ever change.
I kind of like that.