Some thoughts on church last night

– I got to church a little early, planning on saying a rosary or lighting a candle or something. The nice thing about the 7pm mass I attend at St. Crankypants RCC is that it’s billed as ‘contemplative’, so there’s darkness and candles and theoretical quiet. I found myself getting irritated with every little noise, though, especially squeaky shoes and the teenagers whispering behind me. 

– My pre-worship prayer was. “What the hell am I doing here?” I kept having to consciously relax my muscles, because I was on edge, angry, and waiting for the tap on the shoulder and the big guys ready to escort me out. I often hear that people are afraid on a first or a first in a long while trip to a church they’re afraid they are going to be kicked out for not belonging. Since I have, actually and truly, been kicked out of a church escorted by big old security guys, well… The important thing is that I didn’t get kicked out and I mostly relaxed by the Gospel.

– I know more of the Nicene Creed by heart than I expected. I also managed to fudge my way through the Eucharist responses, but they threw me a curve ball with the Agnus Dei actually in Latin! My version went: Agnus Dei, *mumblemumblemumble* -di, miserere nobis.” 

– I’m going to take a minute to talk about Bernadette Farrell. She’s Catholic. She’s a liturgical musician. She’s pretty good. But at St. Thatguy, the music director is a friend of hers, and she gave him carte blanche to use her music whenever she wants, so I have sung a lot of Farrell. Farrell isn’t up there yet with Hal Hopson in my Pantheon of I Do Not Want To Sing Anything Written By That Person Ever Again, but she’s getting there. Having said all that, I do like her Sanctus, but the St. Crankypants musician has leveled out most of the syncopation. 😛

– The celebrant was crap as a homilist. He gave like, one main homily and three mini homilies during the service. The mini homilies were good, but during the main homily he kept using ‘submit’ and ‘suggest’ (and we all know how much I ENJOY THAT. Not.) Plus there was a gratuitous Michael Phelps reference about 3/4ths of the way through that the two teenagers behind me jeered in their whispered conversation as “totally lame”. I totally agree.

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.

– Yes, going to St. Crankypants was kind of cheating. My big problem lately has been dealing with people, as in, I don’t wanna. St. Crankypants is what I call the titular saint, the people are very nice, but they do not go out of their way to talk to you at any service. And in the darkness of the contemplative service, no one can see you genuflect.

– I’ve been a Christian too long to expect that God would rend the heavens and come down and touch me on the forehead and I would be filled with light and life and peace, falling down praising the One True God. And yet, something did happen. Something, deep down, has shifted. I’m still really angry at, well, EVERYTHING. But something’s different, in an unquantifiable way. *shrug* We’ll see what happens.

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