We are Roman Catholic. There was a long period of time in my life where I went to church every Sunday, most notably, when I was a child and had no control over my Sunday mornings. In my college years I didn’t attend church very regularly, but started going again when I met my husband and continued to do so for several years after we were married.
After Snags was born, our attendance at church lessened, and by the time he was a toddler, we all but stopped going and turned into C&E Catholics, those folks who only cross the threshold of the building on Christmas and Easter. The main reason for this wasn’t a lack of faith, but rather a lack of ability to keep a young boy from misbehaving out of boredom for one single hour on Sunday mornings. Snacks and books and toys failed to help much in that environment, and I was tired of “attending” mass out in the foyer, chasing Snags around and trying to keep him quiet while counting the minutes until we could leave, because really, this wasn’t what church was supposed to be about.
Now that Snags is older and better behaved, we started going to church again. He is interested in attending CCD (Sunday School for those who aren’t Catholic), and making his First Holy Communion. I’ve told him those things are only possible if he behaves like a Saint during Mass. He wants to sit right up front, in the very first pew, so he can see everything that goes on at the alter, but I tell him he has to be really, really, really good in order to sit there, and I am reserving that, like a prize, for the day he can sit quietly through an entire mass and stand and sit at the appropriate times along with the congregation. We can not sit up front if he refuses to stand when everyone else stands. We cannot sit up front if he continues to play with the kneeler, opening it so it crashes down on top of my foot like he did a few weeks ago. The sudden eye watering pain of that made me nearly curse out loud, and cursing in the very front pew of a Roman Catholic Church is certain to get us excommunicated or struck by lightning.
We didn’t make it to church this Sunday, and that’s, if not a sin, at least a shame. Because over the past few weeks, Snags has been singing the hymns he hears at church as he does things around the house. You can hear him singing church songs while he builds with his LEGOs or as he’s playing with the hose in the backyard, or most recently, while taking his bath.
The only problem is, he doesn’t always get the words to the songs right. Last week my husband found Snags singing the memorial acclamation, the words of which go: “Let us proclaim the mystery of faith…” Only, Snags was singing, “Let us proclaim three mysteries of fame…”
The three mysteries of fame that I cannot grasp are as follows:
1. How did Keanu Reeves become a star? He is the worst actor I’ve ever seen, and his monotone proclamation of “Sir, I love your daughter…” in the movie A Walk in the Clouds, is certainly proof of this.
2. How did the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon become a hit? Why did it win an Academy Award? It was terrible. People flying through the air, fighting with swords. That’s totally impossible, not realistic at all.
3. Why does Madonna, who was born and raised in Michigan, affect a fake British accent when she feels like it? And why don’t the talk show hosts call her on it?
Bringing up the name Madonna reminds me of the real Madonna, Mary, the Mother of God. And how, when I was a child, and for many years into my teens, I thought the beginning words to the Hail Mary were as follows: “Hell Mary, full of grace…” For the life of me I couldn’t understand why there would be curse words in a prayer. It didn’t make any sense to me, and I knew deep down, it was just wrong.
My misunderstanding of the beginning of the Hail Mary is perhaps proof that Snags comes by his misunderstanding of the memorial acclamation naturally. You can have faith that he inherited his inability to hear the words correctly from me. Or maybe he simply misheard the song because I was muttering curse words after he dropped the kneeler on my foot.