Your Child’s First Communion and Manner of Dress
During childhood, there are many occasions to celebrate and reasons to dress up! One of these such occasions is for a child’s First Communion with communion dressses.
As part of both the Protestant and Catholic Church tradition, one of the important rites of passage is the receiving of the Eucharist. Children receive their First Communion typically between the ages of seven and thirteen, depending on the specific faith.
As part of the ritual, boys and girls dress in very special apparel. Churches vary on what they call for in terms of dress, and some may be stricter than others in what they require. However in general, children are expected to wear formal attire, usually dressier than traditional Sunday church clothing.
Boys receiving their First Communion typically wear collared shirts, ties, dress pants, and dress jackets. Colors may vary and generally any modest style clothing is accepted, though again, this depends on the church and what it says is appropriate.
Girls wear communion dresses. These dresses come in many different styles. Many are made of materials such as silk, cotton, or satin. In all forms, they are also meant to be modest. Most of them have sleeves, some short or long, and if they do not, they are often worn with a little cardigan or dress jacket. They also often include very beautiful and fine detail, all without being overly extravagant. In itself, the dress encompasses symbols rooted in the Catholic or Christian faith, representing the journey a child has taken to First Communion. For example, communion dresses are white, symbolic of the child’s Baptism and the purity of the soul. This is supposed to indicate a girl’s readiness to receive the Eucharist.
There are also accessories young ladies may include with their dresses. Often times a girl may wear a headpiece, such as a veil or other head covering, symbolizing humility. Many choose to wear ribbons, clips, and tiaras as well. (The Catholic Church no longer has a requirement women wear a headpiece to mass, but as it used to be considered tradition, it was and can be, incorporated into a young girl’s outfit.)
Church requirements, as well as the child’s style, should be considered when selecting the manner of dress. This is keeping in mind that children will most likely participate in the ceremony during a mass or service with their class. They will be sitting, standing, and walking, and children may celebrate afterwards. So in the end, comfort is also important!
Your child’s First Communion is a unique and special time. Dressing your child for this important rite of passage may have different meanings and significance for your family, and we would love to help you find the best fit. This is a celebratory and memorable milestone for you and your child!