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My First Holy Communion in Ireland

Posted by Deirdre Murray on

Your First Holy Communion is definitely a big deal in Ireland. I’m not sure how people do it here, but at home, people go all out! I remember mine. It was a really nice day actually - surprising given that I live on the West Coast of Ireland. The Mass was lovely. Mam and Dad had the house lovely for all of my family to have a party afterwards. It should be noted that my family is about 3 times the size of any normal family so there were 15+ Uncles, 15+ Aunts, 3 Grandparents and about 1,800 cousins (might be a bit of an exaggeration on the cousin-front but you get the idea) and of course, family friends. So naturally for such a big crowd of people, we would need an awful amount of food and drink (after all, this is an Irish party)! Many families choose to rent a venue and have the whole party catered but my mother would have none of it! She made everything herself. She’s ‘some woman for one woman’ as we say at home (meaning she’s quite an amazing lady)! Anyway, as it’s coming up to communion season, I decided I’d give ye a few insights into my First Holy Communion and some of the traditions we have at home. Off we go...

Well there’s the dress and accessories. Pretty crucial stuff - especially when you’re that age. I remember going shopping for accessories with my Mam. Picking out a beautiful Celtic Cross Necklace and some pearly bracelets. They were beautiful. They looked quite similar to the ones below - and of course you can find all of our Irish made Communion jewelry here (including tie-tacs & rosary beads)!


I had a ‘surprise’ dress, meaning I didn’t go shopping for one with my mother. Instead  my auntie (who is the queen of all things fashion) went off and got one for me. Everyone else had really cool dresses with nice lacy bits and gold trimmings. Mine was quite plain - but she, being a genius, added little ornate pieces of lace making it really cute. I also had really cool fingerless gloves. Naturally later in the day, I would go on to totally destroy the dress with markers while I coloured on my lap. I was 8 - what can I say? Everyone had a great time and the party lasted well into the night. 


Nowadays, people go even bigger than what I remember! Little girls might get a spray tan & their nails done for the day. The lads tend to wear really nice expensive suits, even if they do grow out of them before the day is out! Renting a venue is an even bigger trend! Of course, the Mass itself has stayed the same throughout the decades.

I’ll leave you with a funny story. My parents put my money in the bank immediately - savings for future holidays etc. However, they did give me €30 to do what I want with. I had big dreams and this was the most amount of money I had ever had - so what did I buy? Yes, you guessed it - the girl from one of the wettest places on earth bought an 4 ft circular inflatable pool. One rainy day, I took it outside, blew it up (nearly lost consciousness & a lung) and got in. I can’t believe I didn’t get hypothermia. I did wash the cat though - the cat, in a plastic inflatable pool. The pool lasted all of 6 minutes. 

Look at me, wasn’t I only gorgeous!


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  • My First Communion was similar even though I grew up in the US (Irish-born grandparents) I wore a simple white dress, white veil and white shoes…my daughter wore the same dress MANY years later…she now has the dress and, maybe…my grand daughters will wear that very same dress.

    Kitty Girard on

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Biddy Murphy
A Little About Us is a global online retailer for beautifully handcrafted Celtic gifts. We work with a variety of Irish artisans to source meaningful jewelry, clothing, and home goods that make special Irish gifts for all occasions. Some of our best sellers include Celtic Crosses, Trinity Knot necklaces, Guinness merchandise, blessings for the home, and gorgeous Irish caps, sweaters, scarves and blankets. Shop those hard to find Confirmation, First Communion, and Holiday gifts!

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