First Communion Suits: Personal Experiences

Figure 1.--

HBC has only a few personal experience accounts. They cover a number of different countries. We will load them ere as we acquire them. We welcome contributions from readers who would lke to contribute their own experiences.

America: My First Communion Suit (1950s)

An American reader writes, "I grew up during 1950s in New Jersey. I had quite a few suits, so there were different colors, but mom seemed to favor dark suits with shorts that matched the jacket. I do remember one different suit. I don't know whether you are familiar with the Catholic ceremony of First Communion, but at age seven, boys and girls go through it. There is studying, and a final ceromony at church, where all the boys and girls attend a Mass, dressed all in white. The girls wore white laced dresses with white knee socks, and the boys were also dressed the same, in all white suits with short pants, white knee socks, and white shoes. I have a picture of me and my classmates and we looked adorable if I do say so. I don't remember exactly how I felt about it. The other boys also had short pants suits and my other suits were all short pants suits. Last week my brother brought my nephew Matthew by. He will have his First Communion in a couple months. I showed him my picture. It isn't to different than the suit he will wear, except the short pants and white knee socks that you can't see in the picture. When I told him I wore shorts, he could hardly believe it. No way!, he said that he would ever wear white short pants and knee socks!!"

America: White Eton Suit (1970s)

An American reader writes, "Eton suits were not popular in my own childhood, but well I remember a first Communion class at our church during the 1970s. All of the boys were wearing regular dark suits, but one "lucky" boy was wearing a white Eton suit with short pants that his grandmother had given him for the occasion. I hadn't felt such sympathy for a boy's embarrassment over clothes since Aunt Martha selected a comparable suit for Beaver Cleaver."

English First Communion (1970s)

An English reader writes, "I had a relatively strict and, probably, slightly old-fashioned upbringing. So, I suppose that the clothes and lifestyle that I hadwere more typical of a classic British upbringing in the late 1960s, rather than what most boys of my age were going through in the 1970s."

France: First Communion (1950s)

A French reader tells us, "Since my 8 years old , I have got the faith in Jesus Christ. The Holy Communion is one of our 7 sacraments. When I was boy , as altar boy I couldn't tuch a Holy Host, now since several years and in regular way at the Sunday mass; with the priest celebrant I give the Communion to the faithfulls; it is one of the greater grace for me. I never would imagine that when I was boy."

Irish First Communion (1930s)

An Irish reader writes, "Our greatest 'first' event was that of our First Holy Communion. Napoleon Bonaparte was once asked what his greatest childhood memory was, and he replied, "The day I received my First Holy Communion". It is most special because we are conscious of being really fussed over by our parents and our teachers. Again it is our first realisation that we are "somebody"--we are somehow important in this life - being centre stage - and being Irish, and especially being coveys, we play it to the hilt!"


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Created: December 20, 1998
Last edited: 9:35 PM 11/5/2005