Saturday, May 06, 2017

First Communion 1966

At this time of year thousands of Catholic children make their First Holy Communion all over the world. While religion has taken a back seat in many Irish families, the Communion stills seems to be a big day as it is the first real big landmark occasion from which our lives are measured. As a sacrament it probably has little value to many children and parents any more - but it still a great celebration of growing up. In my day (1966), it was a mark of reaching the "age of reason". I don't think any of us in Second Class in Carnew National School (Co Wicklow) really knew what that meant. I recall our teacher practicing with cream crackers on our tongues (no putting out your hands for communion in those days) in class while she prepared us for the big day.

Holy Eugene!
I don't remember anything about the day - the photo above was taken after the ceremony on the steps of St Brigid's Catholic Church in Carnew. You can't tell from this photo, but I was wearing short trousers - it was my first ever suit which got outings to Mass every Sunday until it fitted me no more. I was only seven years old. It was part of growing up at that time that you did this - I don't remember anyone in our school not making their First Holy Communion as a choice. Religion dominated our lives without us realizing it.

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