Sunday, February 17, 2008

From one sacrament to other sacraments..becoming an heirloom.


(Full length shot)

When I married 14 years ago I had my wedding dress made by a young but talented girl in my area. I had given her an idea of what I had wanted from a compilation of different clippings from wedding magazines and she did a beautiful job. "Maybe one of your daughters will wear it one day?" it was asked. But as much as I loved the dress I knew that it was an outside chance due to personal taste and a range of other possible reasons.

(Closer view of bodice)

When I was pregnant with my first child I thought to have the left over wedding material made into a baptismal gown. A dear neighbour from my childhood made children's clothes to sell at the local market, so I asked if she would be happy to make it. She was and did a beautiful job. I kept it simple, without decoration. It would be the gown for all the children I would be blessed with and maybe it would be passed down to grandchildren..

It touched me in some way to think that the garment from the Sacrament of my marriage was now being used for the Sacrament of Baptism for my children...


Then I had daughters and as the years went by it was time to think of First Holy Communion dresses and started to think that there was a lovely way for all my girls to wear my bridal dress, as brides of Christ receiving Him on this special day.

It was a bigger endevour for someone to undertake, to alter an adult dress for girls but I had a lovely dressmaker who was happy to do this for me. Once again a beautiful job was done under difficult circumstances (enormous alterations) I was overjoyed.

Once again this dress was being used and for the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The dressmaker had been very faithful to the original look it had on me.


My second daughter made her First Communion with the Polish community of our Parish and so it was their custom not to have a veil but only a garland of flowers, but I took photos of her with the veil and headpiece as well as the garland before we left for the church.

Here is a full length shot of the dress on my oldest daughter.

Here is my mum with my daughter wearing only her garland on the hour of her First Communion.

When it came to the First Holy Communion veil, I made it from my wedding veil and decided to dismantle my wedding headpiece and design something very spiritually meaningful for a Communion headpiece.


Our family are True Devotees, "To Jesus Through Mary" and so I started to form ideas of a headpiece incorporating the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. Since I am not a sewer, I thought I would make it myself, just handstitching any small sewing jobs on it.

I bought two foam shoulder pads to cut into the shapes of two hearts. I used my wedding dress material to cover the hearts and to make the flames. Then all the decorations needed to make the hearts distictive to the Two Hearts were taken from my original headpiece, except for the flowers on the Immaculate Heart, that came from my bodice that was covered in lace flowers and flower diamontes. The finished Hearts were then firmly sew onto the veil - it was done!


I do hope and pray that all of this will be passed down to my grandchildren, maybe beyond. I love symbolic things and it meant so much to me that from one sacrament garment of my own, it was passed on in some way to the beginning of my children's sacramental life.

Now that I have been blessed with a third girl who was recently dressed in the Baptism gown for her special day, she will one day wear the First Holy Communion outfit, many years to come.

18 comments:

Moonlight in Vermont said...

Anne,
I just LOVE this post. What a beautiful idea of passing down your beautiful wedding dress to your daughters in the manner of the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion! I am truly blessed by this post!
Blessings to your whole family and congratulations on the birth of your new little girl!
love,
Marianne

Surprised by Joy said...

This post made me cry, so beautiful.

Molly

Jessica said...

How perfectly inspiring!!! What lovely traditions you have started in your family, so very beautiful! God Bless!

Matilda said...

What a beautiful family heirloom you have created! And what a knock out you are Miss Anne!

MaryM said...

What a wonderful gift and traditon for the family sacraments. The gown and dress are truly beautiful. My sister altered my mother's wedding dress as a first communion dress for her daughters as well.

Ruth said...

This is such a beautiful tradition, Anne. Truly beautiful!!!

Meredith said...

Incredible and so beautiful, I am in awe...Love,

Ebeth said...

Beautiful, what a treasure! Congratulations

Hugs!

Angie said...

Wow -- what a beautiful posting and tradition! Just lovely!

Lillian said...

You're girls are simply precious in their dresses. What a beautiful idea!!!

Mary Vitamin (Helen) said...

Beautiful Anne!

Elena said...

What a wonderful idea! And very wise. I know that I didn't want to wear my mom's dress because it wasn't my taste! But at 8 it might very well have made a good first communion dress.

Michele said...

What a beautiful, beautiful post.

JennGM said...

Just beautiful and inspiring. I have thought of the same idea, but I wore an antique ivory silk gown and wanted white for baptism. Thanks for sharing, especially the gorgeous pictures.(You are beautiful, BTW!)

Lerin said...

WOW! This is such a great idea.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

How wonderful...absolutely beautiful post!

Jennifer F. said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing.

I just now discovered your blog through the Catholic Blog Awards links and am thrilled to have found it -- I'll definitely be back!

the mother of this lot said...

Anne, I know your family loves has a great devotion to St. Joseph. Have you seen this website:

http://www.thankevann.com/stjoseph/