Sunday, April 28, 2013

Church Record Sunday: First Communion

My sister and brother and I received First Communion as children in Timmins, Ontario, where we were born and raised.

After all these years, I don’t remember the exact days and months when we received the Sacrament of the Eucharist. I tried finding out in 1988 when I wrote to my old church in Timmins asking for Certificates of Communion and Confirmation for myself and my sister. The secretary sent our Confirmation certificates, but didn’t have any information about our Communion, because, as she explained, the parish did not keep First Communion records.

My First Communion took place in 1966, probably in April, because it preceded my Confirmation in late May of that year. I was 7½ years old and in Grade 2 at the time.

Yvonne Belair at her First Communion in 1966
Yvonne (1966)

My sister Marianne’s turn came in the spring of 1968. She was also 7½ years old and in Grade 2. Her First Communion must have been that April, because she did her Confirmation the following month.

Marianne Belair at her First Communion in 1968
Marianne (1968)

Like us, our younger brother Raymond was in Grade 2 at his First Communion, but he was nearly 8 years old at the time. His Communion photos are dated “May 1978”.

Raymond Belair at his First Communion in 1978
Raymond (1978)

One difference between us and our brother’s First Communion is that for us the event took place at Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes church (we lived nearby and belonged to that parish), while his took place at St-Antoine cathedral (our family lived in that part of town by then and belonged to that parish).

I remember very little of my First Communion, except that it was an exciting day, that all the Communion candidate students travelled from our elementary school (St-Charles) to the church, that I got to wear a new, white dress with short puffed sleeves, and a pretty little coronet with attached veil. Afterwards, we returned to our school for a little informal party and each one of us received a commemorative souvenir of ma PREMIERE COMMUNION. We might also have received a rosary (pink for girls, blue for boys) and prayer cards.

Two years later, Marianne wore the same veil, but had a different dress with a small, V-shaped collar and long sleeves. Neither of our dresses have survived (did Mom pass them on to younger cousins, perhaps?), but I still have the coronet and veil that we wore.

In 1978, Raymond wore a dark green three-piece boy’s suit. He looks quite formal in his picture, doesn’t he?

Copyright © 2013, Yvonne Demoskoff.


  1. Yvonne, what great pictures! Those bring back some memories. I received my First Communion about the same time and had a similar dress. I don't have the dress or veil, but I still have a little ceramic nun that that I received as a gift.

  2. It's interesting what we keep (or is kept for us) as souvenirs and mementos, isn't it? Thanks for commenting, Kathryn!