Palms Make Great Swords

Monday, 14 April 2014

Failed to get to 11 o'clock Mass at my preferred church this morning due to my inability to get out of bed. Before you judge me it was 11am Mass, not pm. I arrived at my less preferred church, during the first reading. I personally consider this to be early as we normally don't walk through the door till the Gospel is in full swing, if the priest has already started the homily, then even I, consider myself late.

I spied the palms neatly stacked at the back of church and my heart sank with the realisation it was going to be a long one, in fact, an age, with a three and nine year old in tow!

Sunday mornings are always such fun chez moi. I refer to it as the 'family drag' to Mass, because that is literally what happens, I drag them, sometimes kicking, screaming and sulking. There are always a few who manage to escape and duck out because they've engineered a social event to get them out of going or simply because I can't face the row. As Easter approaches it's only going to get worst, they'll already be fretting that I'm going to make them spend 'the whole week' in church and are preparing well researched arguments as to why they shouldn't have to and I shouldn't make them go. I must confess there are times when I do 'get' where they are coming from and I'm even a little bit envious that they have the confidence to challenge me over it.


I never would have dared 'take on' my mother regarding 'Mass Attendance', the mere thought makes me shudder with fear. Hell hath no fury like a Catholic mother challenged over her faith. At 42 years of age she has stopped asking me 'have YOU been to Mass today', she's upped her game and now asks 'did you get THOSE CHILDREN to Mass today'. Clever psychology really when you've been raised in the Catholic tradition, making me responsible for their souls. To be fair she does actually believe, she is, still, responsible for my soul. I do hope she doesn't get judged on my Mass attendance though, especially as I may have fibbed about it on occasions for an easy life.

The boys were delighted by the palms. I in honesty was a little disappointed as they hadn't been already been 'Blue Peter'd' into crosses. I can only presume we have to make our own crosses due the alarming drop in the nun population. Back in the day, we had an abundance of nuns, in church and in school, they weren't even an unusual sight in Kwik Save doing their shopping. When in Ireland, there were actually so many of them we used to play 'spot the nun' and it was quite normal to hit treble figures. I suppose those nuns that are still alive just no longer able to make the crosses due to their arthritis.

A fellow parishioner in the pew in front had it nailed, pardon the pun. She was creating crosses at the same rate Aldi cashiers process your shopping, yes, that fast. I attempted to emulate her unfortunately she caught me watching and became clandestine.

On reflection, perhaps SHE was a nun, in disguise and that's where ALL the nuns have gone, undercover. As you can see concentration on the Mass had, at this point wandered, as had the boys. In my brief 'time out' the boys had abandoned fighting over chairs and were actually 'taking each other down' rugby style. I considered You Tubing how to make palm crosses on my phone, in an attempt to engage them but thought this might create further disturbance which I would then no longer be able to blame them for.

Fortunately the organist had taken his shoes off and was having forty winks so they weren't really disturbing anybody else too much. Was torn between laughing and crying when the Communion queue formed and Patrick marginally avoided a fatal collision with an elderly lady. Faith was restored in humanity when she touches my arm and quietly whispered with a knowing glance, 'it's too long for them isn't it! I nodded in agreement, she steadied herself and took her place back in the queue, turned back and added 'it's too long for me' with a wink!