Category Archives: church

Sunday School, Weenie Sabers, and The Sign of the Cross

I confess:  I miss the lazy Sunday mornings, the mornings where I could stay in bed, or if not in bed, at least in my pajamas, until almost noon, reading a book while Snags watched cartoons.  If we went to church, it was to the last mass of the day, but mostly we didn’t go at all. 

Now though, Snags is enrolled in Sunday school.  Our neighbor is his teacher. Her son is Snags’ friend. Two more of his friends from first grade are in his Sunday school class as well.  He enjoys it, and I’m glad.  Some weeks my neighbor drives him to Sunday School and my husband and I pick him up at the end and we all go to Mass together.  Other weeks we drop him off ourselves and go to mass while he’s in class.  Snags has decided we should alternate this.  One week he’ll go to church, the next he won’t.  I think he wants to ease back into it.

Most recently, Snags learned how to make the Sign of the Cross.  Last Sunday he happily reported: “Mom!  I earned a gold star for doing the Sign of the Cross right today!  I only had to do it twice to get it right!” 

“Wow,” I say in response.  “That’s great!”  I think back just a few weeks prior to this when he held up both hands and made an X with his forefingers.  “Isn’t THIS the Sign of the Cross?” he asked.  “No,” I said, “That’s more like the sign against vampires.”

Snags goes on to explain that it was difficult to make the Sign of the Cross in front of his Sunday school class because he was facing the class and because he holds the Wii nunchuck in his left hand… And no, I don’t have any idea what the Wii gaming system has to do with making the sign of the cross.  We have Wii Sports and We Ski, Star Wars the Force Unleashed, and Star Wars Legos, the Complete Saga.  Nowhere in that mix have I happened upon Wii Catholic Church, the Sign of the Cross (nunchuck required).  Go figure.

Next up in Sunday school learning, if you’re in First Grade and want to earn another gold star, is memorizing The Our Father.  “We can’t read it,” Snags informs me.  “We have to memorize it.”  I worry that he’ll mix it up with the rules of Tae Kwan Do he has to memorize.  Our Father, Who Art in Heaven, I’ll always finish what I start, sir!”

I didn’t realize that I was supposed to be teaching the rules of Tae Kwan Do to Snags.  I’d read them myself, of course, but when I got to number two, “I will always be a good brother or sister, sir!” I put the book away figuring that didn’t apply to Snags, as he’s an only child.  A week or two later his instructor corrected me, put it into perspective, and said to think about it in the biblical sense.

Which brings us back to Sunday school.  As Snags was going on about having to learn the Our Father, I thought to warn him that the Hail Mary is HAIL Mary, and not Hell Mary, as I once thought.  But before I could even form the sentence completely in my head, Snags took another breath and said, “And then we have to learn the Hell Mary!”

Hail Mary,” I said, trying to suppress a laugh.  It’s “Hail Mary.”  There isn’t a cuss word in the prayer.  Snags started to get upset, he hadn’t meant to say a bad word.  I tried to reassure him, told him how I also thought it was Hell Mary when I was a kid, but that it’s not.  The apple, they say, doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Or is it, Great Minds Think Alike?

I keep meaning to tell my neighbor, the Sunday school teacher, about the Hell Mary.  That maybe she ought to explain to the children the difference between Hail and Hell, Fire and Brimstone, whatever.  But then her son was playing in my yard the other day, playing with plastic light sabers, fighting a battle against evil.  He took the light saber, stuck it between his legs, and deemed it a Weenie Saber. 

I’d mention this to my neighbor, but then Snags has been going around and using his favorite tag blanket as a whip. We recently let him watch the first Indiana Jones movie, the one where Indie goes in search of the Ark of the Covenant, the container that held the tablets of stone that the Ten Commandments were written on.  Only Snags doesn’t call it the Ark of the Covenant, he calls it the Ten Commandments Box. 

I wonder if it’s big enough to hold a Weenie Saber?

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Filed under boys, church, humor, kids, life, parenting, Snags, Star Wars

Three Mysteries of Fame

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.

and

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. 

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Filed under church, fame, humor, life, Snags