Austrian Boys' Religious Costume: First Communion

Figure 1.--This Austrian boy weas a white sailor suit fr his First Communion in the 1940s. He looks to be about 7-8 years old. /i>

Austria as a largely Catholic country has meant that most boys did a First Communion. We are not entirely sure when this became an important Catholic custom. As more secular believes spread, some families may not have had their children do a First Communion, but we are unsure just how common this was. Children doing First Communion in the Austro-Hungarian Empire were given medals. Some communities had uniformed bands which played when children each years did their First Communion. One vistor reported a beautiful celebration in the SalzburgerLand area. Many Austrian parishes reserve First Communion celebrations for Ascension. The First Communion does continue to be a major event in the lives of Austrian children. It is after First Communion that an Austrian boy can begin to train to be an altar boy. We note one internet posting in 2007, "Zach received his First Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday with four other kids. It was a joyous occasion. He had been working very hard to prepare himself for receiving Jesus. He told me when he received that felt Jesus. God is so good!! Zach has already asked Father Dave when the next altar server training is. He is ready to join his big brother!"


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Created: 12:18 AM 4/26/2008
Last updated: 12:18 AM 4/26/2008