Show and Tell Sunday Went to Church on Friday
I took a personal day from work on Friday to take my dad to church. (No, the building didn’t fall down.)
My mother passed away on October 8, 1999, and each year at the anniversary, my father has a Mass said for her. My sister usually accompanies him to that church service. This year, she asked me if I would take him because she had a work conference that conflicted. And so I was at First Friday Mass at 7:30 AM.
I don’t talk too much about my Catholic background here, mostly because it is “background.” I have not been a regular churchgoer for most of my years in California. I’ve had my issues with Church practices for most of my adult life. It’s really not a matter of “faith” for me anymore–Catholicism (and religion in general) is more a subject of intellectual interest than a matter of practice now.
Still, I was raised and educated Catholic. Those traditions still inform my sense of self, and on the rare occasions I do attend Mass, I’m always struck by how easily it all comes back. For one thing, the ritual has not changed significantly in decades (I was born just in time to miss the Mass in Latin). I can sing many of the hymns and parts from memory–thanks, school choir!–and follow everything without a missal. I’m always surprised to rediscover what I remember. (I’m always reminded that I miss singing regularly somewhere other than in my car.)
If the ritual itself were all, I might go back more often…but it’s not. It all stands for something, and I can’t wholly accept everything it stands for. I came into the Catholic Church as it was beginning to implement the reforms of Vatican II, and I still resent the conservative retreat from those steps toward progress.
Whenever I do go back to church, I reflect on all of this. I’m rarely surprised when I conclude that I won’t return again anytime soon.
Reading: I’m doubling up on October fiction with Caroline Leavitt’s Cruel Beautiful World and Only Daughter by Anna Snoekestra. My library hold came in for Margot Lee Shetterley’s Hidden Figures, and I’m about halfway through the audiobook. It has an insanely long subtitle–“The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race”–and it’s a fascinating story.
‘Riting: I’m working on reviews of the audiobook version Alexander Hamilton and the linked-stories collection Bertrand Court this weekend.
Randoming: My favorite TV shows are coming back! Sadly, I’m still too sucked into real-life political drama to follow much else right now. Watching the debates has given me renewed appreciation for Twitter, though, and here’s this week’s current events reading list,
Bonus link–also timely, but much more inspiring: “Hamilton” is the new “Star Wars”: My sons’ epic love for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Founding Fathers musical
AND…The Book Bridge is open! The Call for Submissions for October will be open through October 17.
Gratuitous Photo of the Week: the arrival of #bookmailbox No. 2! New books and bookish goodies!
What’s new with you?