First Holy Communion – Documentary photography by Czesław Siegieda


Documentary photographer Czesław Siegieda recorded life in a Polish community in England from 1970 to the 1980s. May is a busy month for Polish Catholics because 8 year olds have their First Holy Communion. The church ceremony is a watershed event in the life of Catholic children, and their parents.

The Catholic Church’s view is that First Holy Communion aims to prepare a child for a religious and pious life. In the build up to the event, children receive instruction in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Girls wear white dresses with garlands (crowns) made of white flowers on their heads to show their innocence. Boys carry candles. A party follows the church service.
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