May in Carmona and the First Communion

May in Carmona and the First Communion

During the past thirteen years, strolling in Carmona each May, I was always intrigued by the fleeting appearance of girls in their white communion dresses.

However, this year I received a formal invitation from young Alberto to his first communion. It was a golden opportunity for me to report on this event when you live in Carmona. Below you can see me in the presence of Alberto and his paternal grand-mother.


If girls are still wearing the white dresses, boys have the opportunity to choose their costumes though most of them prefer to a military outfit. Alberto had chosen an Admiral’s uniform.


I went there in advance not to miss anything and I was surprised to see all the assistants wear their best outfits. To the right you can see the church and on the left what I thought was a convent. In fact it is a hermitage.


I asked this young group if they wished to appear in my blog which they accepted willingly. All remembered their first communion and today they accompanied their cousins.


This young miss was so beautiful that I asked her to pose alone. She lives in Seville but is native of Carmona.


After having listened to the divine a capella song of this man, it is explained that the communicants have to go first to the Hermitage of Nuestra Señora del Real or of  San Anton, the building on the left from the San Fernando parish referred to by those living in Carmona as the San Anton church. I had never seen its gate opened in the past, so I was thrilled to be able to unravel this mystery. So I wait for Alberto.


Beautiful communicants arrive one by one with their parents, leaving them with regret to seat themselves in the church. Here is a father photographing his son.


Alberto’s parents finally left their son join the other communicants. The Hermitage of San Anton is the oldest building of this area. It was built in 1248 on the site of the former encampment of the Christians at time of the re-conquest of the town to the Moorish occupants.


In haste I could take a nice photo of Alberto but… sugar! I had to go back home in haste to change batteries.



In the hermitage I experienced magic moments. In contrast with the deafening noise of the church, parents of the communicants were alone in the Hermitage in company of their catechesis, a professional cameraman and the priest. My white hair and my foreigner’s look were enough to permit me to stay there. I could thus witness the preparation of the children in this ceremony, when the priest explains what was to happen but also to relax and making them sing. It was a peaceful and refreshing scene.


Then the priest got dressed, explaining the symbols behind each piece of his garments: touching.


Soothed, the kids go from the Hermitage to enter into the ultra modern parish of Carmona (built in 1990). The three following photos show their beautiful outfits.


Communicants formed a half-circle behind the altar. I am sure they were impressed to be able to see the whole audience.


Alberto is the third on the right following the choirboy. I made a few shots of the audience and left the ceremony.


On their way out, I first see the grand-father.

j_Artaud_communion_Carmona_33Then Alberto’s aunt Pili and her family


And finally, Alberto with his great grand-father Antonio, an exceptional former Republican who just published his “Memoirs”, a book I’ll soon review.


But as it often occurs in Carmona, I got another surprise. They were around twenty communicants. Only three families were able to book far in advance seats in the courtyard of the Hermitage so as to offer their relatives and friends the traditional breakfast with churros and hot chocolate.


This long table accommodates a single family. The same with the one to the left handside. You’ll see later the one sat on by Alberto. Waiting for the ten kilos of black chocolate to melt into a beverage and Manoli (the woman appearing below) and her colleague fry kilos of delicious churros….


A few souvenir photos are taken in the Hermitage under the attentive eye of the father.



I’ll only post one, that of Alberto accompanied by his young beautiful cousin, the well named Luz María to whom I asked to show her profile.


Churros and chocolate are finally ready.


The communicant feast to which I was kindly invited happened elsewhere… till 2 am. But here ends this lovely day in May 2016 in Carmona, without forgetting the photos of Alberto’s two grand-mothers.


Thanks to this family from Carmona to have enabled me to share with you what a first communion is like in Carmona.