German First Communions: Age

Figure 1.--These German childrenm did their First Communion in 1937. The boy wears a velvet short pants outfit with black long stockings. The girls wear white dresses with flowers in their hair along with white long stocks. Long stockings were considered more formal than knee socks. Notice how much taller and thus older the girls are than the boy. We believe this is an example of a family group doing their First Communion together. The boy seems a kittle young to be doing First Communion, but if they wait a little longer than the girls would have been to old.

We are not sure about the ages of the German children doing First Communion. When done at school it was children of about the same age. This is difficult to assess, but the children look to be about 7-8 year olds in the group portraits. We do not know if there was a church rule. We think this may have been deternmined in indidividual bisophroces. And until the NAZI era, there was substantial variatiin from statye (Landen) to state as the German Empire had been a union several independent countries and in many areas such as education and religion was not centralized. Perhaps our German readers will know more about this. We also see groups that look to be different ages, perhaps 6-10 years of age. We think that some parents wanted all their children, at least all their children of a certain age, to do their First Communion together. At least we see family groups that look to b dressed up for First Communion. If the preparation and ceremony was done thriugh the church, which was often the case, then this would have been relatively easy to arrange. The examples we have found are mostly pre-World War II groups.


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Created: 9:46 PM 8/23/2011
Last edited: 9:46 PM 8/23/2011