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Your Stories - My First Communion

My First Communion

Lesley Bricknell

All of my family are present for my First Communion at the Catholic Cathedral, Plymouth (1961). In the photograph I am almost as tall as my mother. Much older than seven years old - the usual age for this occasion. My mother fought for us to have a Catholic education - delayed and later abandoned in the case of my two sisters.     

 The dress and veil were borrowed from the school’s collection and returned later on the same day. It is evident, looking at the photograph, that my parents could not afford to buy these things. My mother is wearing the same smart grey suit with white printed spots she wore for her wedding several years earlier in 1947. My father wears the black blazer with his war time insignia badge on the pocket which he wore on and off for years to follow. He was not a Catholic but went along with things. I complained to one of the nuns that my communion dress was plain and creased. She told me that God looks into our souls and not at our dresses. This gave me little satisfaction. My hands, however, clasped in the pose deemed ‘acceptable’ by the (unknown) photographer. 
 
 

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