to not understand why girls need to wear a wedding dress to get confirmed?

(98 Posts)
AndyWarholsBanana Sun 25-May-14 10:15:24

DH is from an Irish Catholic family so I have seen loads of photos of his nieces on their confirmation days in a white dress with a veil and always thought it looked a bit odd but never quite got the connection with it looking like a wedding dress.
Yesterday, there were 2 girls aged about 10 going into our local Catholic church and they were unmistakeably dressed as brides - full length white dresses with trains and veils. I just found it really disconcerting and a bit yuck. I'm sure they weren't bothered and probably enjoyed getting dressed up but it just freaked me out a bit. Is it supposed to symbolise getting married to God or something?
I don't know if I'm overthinking it but I am very aware through one of the charities I donate to about the forced marriage of young girls in some developing countries and wonder if this is part of the reason seeing prepubescent girls in wedding dresses makes me feel so uneasy.

butterflyby Sun 25-May-14 10:16:21

Umm, they don't wear a wedding dress. People who are getting married wear wedding dresses. HTH smile

Jellybellymummyofsix Sun 25-May-14 10:17:55

White dresses for First Communion not confirmation asfar as I'm aware- could be wrong!

AndyWarholsBanana Sun 25-May-14 10:18:00

All right , a pretend wedding dress then.

brokenhearted55a Sun 25-May-14 10:18:20

They are wearing a confirmation dress.

brokenhearted55a Sun 25-May-14 10:18:45

Or first communion dress or whatever

CSIJanner Sun 25-May-14 10:19:20

It's not. I never wore a veil, neither did my other female family members and if my children want to get confirmed, then they won't either. White dress, upper arms covered (either shirt sleeves or white cardigan). That's all that's needed.

Jellybellymummyofsix Sun 25-May-14 10:19:33

Ask your dh?

bumbleymummy Sun 25-May-14 10:20:41

It's a first communion dress, not a confirmation dress.

AndyWarholsBanana Sun 25-May-14 10:21:03

Jelly I think you're right but you have to have been confirmed to have communion don't you?
if it was a plain white dress, fair enough - I could see the connection with light and purity etc but the ones I have seen are definitely like mini bridal gowns.

bumbleymummy Sun 25-May-14 10:23:33

No, communion comes before confirmation. Communion is around age 7/8 iirc and confirmation about age 11

AnythingNotEverything Sun 25-May-14 10:23:54

No Andy - in our diocese you do Reconciliation and Communion at about 7/8 and Confirmation at 13/14.

First Holy Communion is white dresses and veils. Confirmation generally involves the shortest dress they can get away with, but normal "party" clothes.

MrsRonBurgundy Sun 25-May-14 10:24:24

Babies wear white for christenings too. I was raised catholic and from memory of my communion and my dress, I think it's supposed to be something about representing purity? That the sacraments (both of them) cleanse you and white symbolises purity. I may be wrong but that's what I seem to remember from school

Cric Sun 25-May-14 10:24:32

The tradition is a white dress to symbolise purity but the family choose how simple or elaborate. Some dresses are passed down through the family, some catholic communities wear a veil, some flowers etc. I think you are over thinking it.

kslatts Sun 25-May-14 10:25:56

I think it was probably their first communion rather than confirmation.

The dress is white to symbolize purity, such as the white gown worn when baptized. The veils are tradition from when all girls and women wore head coverings to mass starting with their first communion.

Cric Sun 25-May-14 10:26:08

Andy in the Catholic Church they have holy communion at about Y3 and then confirmation and the in CofE children take communion after confirmation.

soverylucky Sun 25-May-14 10:27:26

Dd did her first communion last year. Some of the dresses were OTT and the girls were spending the whole service fiddling with their frock. I wore a knee length dress with veil and gloves for mine. DD wore a three quarter length dress - totally plain. She wore a white cardigan and no veil.
For confirmation I wore regular smart clothes. That was over 20 years ago.

gordyslovesheep Sun 25-May-14 10:27:37

you're confusing churches I think - Catholic Church does first communion then confirmation

CofE only does confirmation - and you can't have the sacrament without being confirmed I wore a smart pink dress for my confirmation - aged 12

The white dress is just a traditional think - I don't think it's meant to be bridey

Nocomet Sun 25-May-14 10:28:00

I've always it's a nod to nuns doing something similar when they take their vows. I think nuns are seen as brides of God.

I guess also there is a sort of idea that people should remember their duty to God and their faith before earthly things. Hence children take first communion, are confirmed and there are similar rights of passage for Jews and Muslims, before they have DPs, children, houses, jobs and Earthly things to worry about.

Viviennemary Sun 25-May-14 10:28:12

Dressing up isn't obligatory. People choose to do it. And as has been pointed out it isn't for confirmation.

AndyWarholsBanana Sun 25-May-14 10:28:35

Just to clarify, the congregation at our local Catholic Church is about 80% African. Do boys have to wear white?

AndyWarholsBanana Sun 25-May-14 10:33:00

I got baptised when I was 18 in a CofE church and I don't remember my first communion as a separate thing from being confirmed - It seemed to be a kind of 2 for the price of 1 type thing.

Cric Sun 25-May-14 10:37:24

Boys wear smart suits. I have seen the odd white suit but not many. It is just one of the little differences between the Catholic Church and CofE.

AnythingNotEverything Sun 25-May-14 10:39:43

C of E and RC have different practices.

I can't see it makes any difference that there are lots of African boys at this church.

Boys in our church wore school trouser, a white shirt and a special red tie for the First Holy Communion.

gordyslovesheep Sun 25-May-14 10:40:20

no Andy because you where in a CofE church ...first communion is a Catholic practice

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