First Holy Communion

Somewhere along in the process (Spring 2002?), we attended the first Holy Communion for my wife’s mom’s cousin’s (sister’s uncle’s friend’s former roommate’s) son or daughter. I had never met them before. Apparently they attended our wedding. Anyway, we received the invitation to the party and were surprised that there was no information as to where the first Holy Communion was to be occurring. Apparently, Catholics only show up for the party? In any case, we called her and tracked down the location of the event, and decided it would be an interesting thing to see what goes on in a Catholic church. So we went. It was at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church.

At this point, I believe we were attending the Episcopal Church, which is also liturgical in nature. But our basic knowledge of the Anglican Liturgy had not prepared us for this service. We were clueless as to what was going on. People were sitting, and then they were kneeling, and then they were standing. And they didn’t need a Book of Common Prayer to follow along. So clearly we stood out. People were genuflecting. Huh?! In hindsight, I presume it was simply a decked-out Mass. But our impression was that it was some kind of special service. Surely they don’t do that every week. I mean, it’s, like, Christ-centered and stuff. Where’s the Mary worship? I guess they act Christian for special services.

In any event, the place was drop-dead gorgeous. Stunning. The beauty itself drew me in and would have made me Catholic. I don’t remember much else from the actual Mass, save some angelic being dressed all in white, singing what I presume was the Responsorial Psalm. Which would have made me Catholic too. The kids parading in their tuxes and gowns was very cute. But by and large, we were simply too overwhelmed to really have a clue what was happening. I remember the beauty, though. And something drawing me.

I remember the drawing precisely because I remember sitting outside the church, killing time before the party, trying to make sense of what we had just witnessed.

I am unsure how much I had been reading at that point. I presume I was already pretty sympathetic to the Church, if only because I was interested in going to what turned out to be a Mass. And as a side note, it is this gorgeous Mass that led us to attend one other Mass. This other Mass was just your ordinary Saturday morning daily Mass, that we decided to check out before we entered RCIA some 18 months after that first Holy Communion Mass. After all, what was a real, regular, joe-schmoe Mass like? Surely not like that other one?

I remember we sat in the back of the little St. Mary’s Chapel at our current parish. Some lady sitting next to us had a cast on her leg, and couldn’t get up. She was blocking us in, and kept insisting that we somehow get past her to receive Communion. Over and over again, “Come on, get up!” Sorry, we’re not Catholic. I remember a young-looking priest (who turned out to be Fr. Rogers), talking briefly off-the-cuff about the Gospel. But I highlight again that this was a Saturday Mass. Because at least some Saturday morning Masses are offered in commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And in fact, at this time, our Saturday morning Masses were also combined with Morning Prayer, which would also have been Mary-focused. In any event, the overwhelming feeling that we took away from that Mass was a confirmation of the original point. Regular Catholic Masses are about Mary worship. Little did we know we had simply come on the wrong day. And, of course, it wasn’t Mary worship at all, anyway. Just hearing the word, Mary, was enough to confirm all of our darkest suspicions.

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~ by Rob on May 21, 2008.

One Response to “First Holy Communion”

  1. […] First Holy Communion […]

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