4/21/10

First Communion Dresses


Image: Keepsake Creations

I remember a full page ad in the Sunday paper several years ago with photos of young girls in First Communion dresses with the caption, For her first walk down the aisle...

But to the best of my knowledge, things on this side of the pond haven't gone this far:

We Will Not Sell The Same Dress To Another Child At The Same Mass...

and

So that we do not sell the same First Communion dress to another child at the same Communion Mass, please advise of Church/Town and date of Communion...

The best catechetical preparation a parish offers faces serious competition when trappings and customs extraneous to the Eucharist receive the most attention.


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11 comments:

Fran said...

I have this on my FB page and an interesting comment thread has surfaced.

The rite of passage is important, but without having the sacrament central to that we are lost.

It is not all about the dress!

Shannon said...

In our parish, first communicants wear white muslin robes covered with a scapular which they and their families decorate with Eucharistic symbols at a retreat (along with baking bread and having a taste of the wine so they don't spit it out or backwash). Because the adult neophytes are visible through the Easter season in their white robes, the kids know the connection between their own baptisms and their coming to God's table. Party dresses are for later.

Chuck said...

At my parish, those receiving Eucharist for the first time wear small albs.

Parents of girls are happy not to spend the money.

Parents of boys are happy their sons share in the celebration of the event.

The albs were handmade my a lot of the seniors of the parish, who have great pride in their sewing.

korinthe said...

I think the albs are a GREAT idea. One of the best things about Catholic school uniforms is the reduction of conspicuously expensive attire. (more a problem among girls rather than boys...)

I don't remember much about my First Communion dress, but I remember that the wreath of flowers was made with unbelievably itchy florist's tape. My mother and grandmother said it was just like Jesus' crown of thorns and a wonderful opportunity to "offer my suffering up to God"!

anne said...

One year, a local parish tried to have every child wear an alb. The rectory phone was ringing nonstop and parents were angry over this. The pastor gave in to the protests. The problem is even worse now. It's not only the fancy, expensive dresses, some of the kids are showing up to church in limousines.

Anonymous said...

I think the white dress/white suit days should end. It is a waste of money = ask the parents to contribute to charity what they would spend on the clothes and, yes, the limos! What a lesson for the children! I bet the parents who are involved in the parish would embrace the idea....and those who are not would be the ones protesting. It happened that way in our parish. Through my experiences with family and friends, I think most pastors cave on this one, though.

Anonymous said...

I do so hate to sound sanctimonious here, but I dislike the sound of "most pastors cave."

Even if the spirit of what you say is correct.

Most of us would not have what it takes to be a truly good shepherd. It is so much harder than most would imagine.

After working at a rectory for a year and a half now, it is something to behold.

Fran

Anonymous said...

My daughter has just had her first communion. At the information meeting between parents and the priest, our pastor did mention that he didn't want people to spend loads of money to make their girls look like brides...a pale summer dress would do fine. We dressed her up in a pale turquoise dress with sleeves. She looked very pretty. Unfortunately she was one of the 5 or so girls not dressed in a fancy white dress! The pastor's message didn`t sink in. We felt humilated. One little girl even told her she looked odd in her dress. It's not that we didn`t have the money, we were respecting the priest's wish to be modest. I really feel that I should speak to him about this and suggest perhaps that white robes and stoles should be the norm.

P.S. We were very proud of our girl. She acted like a young lady.

ConcordPastor said...

While I'm sure your pastor noticed the different kinds of dress, I would encourage you to speak to him, especially with regards to how the children interacted on this question.
Sounds like you're daughter is becoming just the young lady you're raising her to be!

Anonymous said...

At our parish,the whole nine yards is required for first holy communion.the boys have to wear the white suits and ties and the girls the white dress,veil,gloves tights and shoes.if the parents cant afford the outfit the parish helps out with either a donation to the parents or they have communion outfits the parents can borrow for their child to wear.

Anonymous said...

And what about confirmation? at my parish confirmation is at 16 and the boys wear the traditional white suits and the girls the formal,white long dresses with a veil,gloves,tights and white mary janes.