Figure 1.--We note a Solemn Communion held in 1928. At the time French Canadians held Solemn Communion at the end of primary school. The celebration pictured here took place at the small, but charming Québec village of St-André de Kamouraska. Many mothers would have sewn the children's clothes. Several of these boys wear pants cut down from their fathers' pants. Every child holds in his hand a kind of diploma for eternal salvation. Notice that all but one of the boys seem to be wearing knickers. Click on the image for an enlarged view. Source: "Aux limites de la mémoire".
We do not yet have many Canadian First Communion images from the 1920s and are not yet sure of trends during the decade. We see boys wearing dark suits purchased specifically for First Communion. We note these conservative dark suits earlier in the 1900s and 1910. They were worn with long black stockings. We also see regular suits. Boys from less affluent families might have their father's old suit cut dwn for the occassion, but many mothers were willing to splurge and buy a new suit if at all possible. Most of the boys wore knickers or short pants suits.
This First Communion portrait is undated. We believe it was probably taken in the 1920s, we would guess the late 1920s. The early 1930s is also possible. The boy wears a dark short pants suit with black long stockings. We notice a lot of French Canadian boys dressed like this for their First Communion in the early 20th century. He has a large white collar and sleeve bow. The girl wears a formal white wedding dress with long white stockings. We assume that because they are photographed together that they are brother and sister and doing their First Communion together. We wonder if this was common in French Canada. Did one sibling delay their First Communion so they could do it together. Or perhaps the girl has already done her First Communion and just put on her First Comminion dress to be photographed with her brother.
The Orthodox community in Canada is relatively small. It is primarily located in the Prarie provinces. Here we see a First Communion at the St. Nicholas Church at an unknown city in Manitoba. The date is estimated at 1922. The girls all wear white dresses and white stockings. The boys mostly wear blouses with dark kneepants or knickers and black long stockings.
We note a Solemn Communion held in 1928 (figure 1). At the time French Canadians held SolemnFirst Communion at the end of primary school. This will be the end of the schooling for many of these children. After finishing primary school, many will go to work. The children from the more affluent families will continue their education at a classical college. Parish priests might pay for the further education of promising boys, hoping they will have "vocation" in being called by God to the priesthood. This Solemn Communion took place at the small, but charming Québec village of St-André de Kamouraska. Many mothers would have sewn the children's clothes. Several of tese boys wear pants cut down from their fathers' pants. The boys all wear long stockings, but not all are black long stockings. Every child holds in his hand a kind of diploma for eternal salvation. The boys also have variety of lapel flower ribbons. I'm not sure what these were for. Many boys also have the sleeve bows that were also common for First Communion in France.
Unknown author. Aux limites de la mémoire: Photographies du Québec 1900-1930 (Les Publications du Québec, Québec, 1995). This wonderful photographic study has many beautiful photographic images of Quebec.
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