I don’t even know where to begin searching the web to find the answer to this question, so I’m starting here first.
Does anyone know anything about First Communion traditions from the early 1900s? I begged for and have now received a studio photograph of two of my great aunts and one great uncle, c. 1918. It is a First Holy Communion pic. My mom guessed the date based on how old each child appears; she knows their birth dates. Anyway, the oldest girl looks to be about 12; the second, also a girl, is about 8 or 9; and the youngest, the boy, looks around 6 or 7. The girls are in these gorgeous Victorian veils that fall to the hems of their dresses. They have on lace-up ankle-high white kidskin boot, and the boy is in a suit.
Why would all three children be making their First Communion at the same time? Obviously it isn’t a staged photo because if the oldest girl had made her First Holy Communion earlier, then the dress wouldn’t fit her at 12. If ALL the children in the family were to make it all at once – well, that doesn’t make sense either, because my grandfather isn’t in the picture and would have been about 5 at that time.
Didn’t they make their First Communion together as a class, then? I’m fairly positive they were in Catholic school. This is would have been in the Jamestown/Little Valley, NY, area – which is in western NY near Erie, Pennsylvania.