So, I went to Mass today…which is interesting because I’m not Catholic…which is interesting because my son goes to Catholic school. As it turns out, today was All Saints Day which my son has been learning about in school and I wanted to learn too, so I went to Mass.
I did not grow up Catholic but I remember when I was a kid my grandparents would take me to Mass. I wasn’t a good Mass-goer when I was seven and I don’t think I’m a good Mass-goer now. Here were my clues:
- I couldn’t find the door. Yeah, the DOOR to THE CHURCH. I couldn’t find it. I stood at the front of the beautiful church waiting for someone to enter. I figured once I saw someone going through the magical entrance, I would follow. I imagined it would be something similar to ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’. Remember how they walked into the seemingly innocent wardrobe only to find themselves in the mysterious land of Narnia? It wasn’t exactly like that but imagine my surprise when someone opened what I thought was a giant stained glass window. Whoa! It wasn’t a window at all. It was a door covered in brightly colored tiles designed in such a way to give the illusion of stained glass. Very clever church. Very clever. I guess the door handle on the “window” should have given it away.
- There are a lot of prayers and such that people say throughout mass. They have these little cheater cards so people who don’t have things memorized can read along. I stood there looking at my card for two or three minutes before the person next to me kindly pointed out I was looking at the wrong side of the card. This is complicated stuff.
- I remember as a kid there was a lot of sitting, standing, kneeling, repeat. Even now I find it intimidating because I don’t understand it. Today I knelt when everyone else did and I’m not sure if I was supposed to…? I hope that wasn’t disrespectful. Miraculously, I knew that it was not appropriate for me to participate in communion so at least I didn’t blow that.
- “Peace be with you.” When it came time to greet your neighbor with a handshake and a “Peace be with you”, I didn’t quite catch on to what we were doing and I turned to my neighbor and said, “Hi!” So lame.
So that was my first adult Mass experience. Total rookie mistakes were made today but I don’t think I’ll go to hell for them. Right?!?
Anyone have Mass-attending tips for non-Catholic rookie types?