The sacrament of the Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Church is called Communion. When a child does this for the first time there is a ritual to welcome them into the Church. Officially, the Church only requests that they dress suitably, which often means in something new and a bit formal. In the US, in the 1950’s it became popular for boys as well as girls to dress in white and girls dressed just like little brides. First communion dresses are exactly like bridal gowns and sometimes they even wear a white veil.
First communion dresses are made from cotton, polyester, blends and silk with tulle overskirts. They have sleeves and are sleeveless with different decorations such as appliqué flowers and birds, ribbons and lace. They are available full length to the floor and short to the knees. If you buy one online there are hundreds of styles to choose from and you need to be careful to match the accessories to the cloth. Silk is never completely white so if you choose silk, you should see the dress before you buy accessories or make sure they match online. Don’t get white gloves, purse and shoes as it will make the dress look dull. There are little first communion kits that have prayer books, rosaries and purses to match your dress.
You need to know before you choose your dress exactly what the guidelines of your parish are. Sometimes they recommend the length of the skirt, long or tea length, and whether sleeves are required. Also, you need to know if veils are worn by everyone or just some. Don’t depend on the advice of others because guidelines vary from place to place. Some designs come in and go out of fashion. For example, concentrated beading is not in style at present but is still sparingly done. You may see a dress you both love but it doesn’t suit your child’s body or age. First communion dresses should compliment the girl not outshine her.
If you still have your wedding gown, you could transform it into your daughter’s communion dress.Depending on the style of your dress, you can cut it down to fit. There are websites that offer the service of transforming wedding dresses into first communion dresses. This would strengthen the bond between you and your daughter, granddaughter or god daughter in connection with your faith and hers and add to the excitement and specialness of the day. You can buy added decorations and a veil if you want.
First communion dresses can be ordered from around the world along with accessories. You can get a dress that is made to the girl's own measurements. These dresses can be expensive, but most places offer plans where you can pay over time. This way you can get that special dress you really like even if it is a little too costly. The photos taken at this time will be reminders for her whole life of this special day, so let her have the dress her heart is set on.
This article was published on Wednesday 10 February, 2010.