Wednesday, July 13, 2011

i am not catholic

It's true.  I'm not.  I never will be either, I'm afraid. 

I grew up Methodist and while I appreciate all religions, I secretly am kind of glad that I'm not Catholic...I get so confused attending Catholic weddings--especially the ones with full mass...I never know when to sit, stand, kneel, sing, let alone pray!

My friend Colleen got married this weekend and I pulled double duty: coordinating the wedding and lighting the candles at the front of the church prior to the ceremony.

My other friend Jess (who also happens to be Methodist) and I were candle-lighters and we were told before walking down the aisle during the rehearsal to bow before we went up to light the candles.  We did that and we rocked it.

We, however, weren't told that we needed to bow after lighting the candles too, so as we were walking down the stairs and getting ready to head back down the aisle, all of our Catholic friends scolded us for not bowing. 

So, what do we do?  We bow. 

To the crowd.  FAIL. 

We should have bowed towards the alter again as we did before lighting the candles. 

This little mishap was of course, the joke of the weekend and everyone warned us before lighting the candles at the wedding to bow towards the alter...oopsie!

While this wasn't my first Catholic wedding and I'm sure it won't be my last, I realized a lot during this ceremony for some reason:

  • In addition to the bowing rule, there were so many times that I wasn't sure if I should be sitting, standing, or kneeling.
  • They like to sing prayers
  • If I had to kneel in a wedding dress for an hour, I would cry
  • Kids probably don't enjoy Catholic weddings
Speaking of kids not enjoying Catholic weddings, my good friend, Monica encountered this first-hand at last weekends wedding.

During communion at a wedding, typically the Priest asks that only Catholics participate in the actual receiving of bread and wine...this little tidbit was left out and while most non-Catholics didn't participate, there just happened to be a few (one being a child) who decided that their first communion should take place at this wedding. 

Bad idea. 

Especially in a church full of devout Catholics, most of whom attended Catholic school.

My dear friend Monica could tell from the get-go that the family walking in front of her had no idea what they were doing. 

The little one (maybe about 2) even partook in communion. 

He, however, did not eat the host upon receiving it and instead dropped it on the ground a few times, waved it in the air, and did all things possible not to eat it.

Seeing this happening, Monica approached the mom and explained the importance of the bread and asked a few times that the boy eat it immediately.  Monica explained to the mother that if he didn't eat it that she would have to take it away from him.

He didn't eat it.

Monica is mean.

OK, ok, not really...she was just doing her duty as a faithful Catholic; the bread is viewed as Jesus' body and the wine as his blood.  The bread and wine should be consumed and treated as just that...not dropped all over the floor and waved in the air.

Prior to Monica stealing the kids bread, the mom told her that if she did take it away that he would cry.  Which he did (but most likely because the mom said he would...duh).

We all saw a little commotion going on as this was happening sitting at the back of the church but we weren't prepared for the onslaught that took place afterwards by like every. single. family member of this kid!

DURING THE CEREMONY(!) the grandma of the little boy came up to Monica and asked that she go out and apologize to the child and his mother.  Which she did.

After attempting to apologize, the mom told Mon that she would make a horrible mother, and that she ruined the wedding for their family.

The mother in law came back and later apologized for making her do that during the ceremony...but still: NOT COOL, GRANDMA, NOT COOL.

At the reception, the child's dad, who was also a groomsman, again attacked Monica and explained to her that they weren't aware that they weren't supposed to take communion and blah, blah, blah. 

Lesson: if you aren't sure...don't do it, duh.

After everyone was able to give their two-cents to Monica regarding her communion decision, we were all able to enjoy the reception. 

Colleen (the bride) ended up finding out what happened and called Monica to let her know that she would have reacted the same way--by removing the host from the little boy and apologized for the way the groomsman's family reacted (apparently the wife is a drama-queen it wasn't surprising that all of this went on). 

Moral of the story: if in doubt, sit it out (at Catholic weddings, that is....)


  1. Oh dear, this is going to give me a complex before my Catholic wedding! Poor girl, I can't believe someone would actually chew her out!

  2. oh man, your friend Monica was definitely not in the wrong... what a crazy story and to think it was all going on at a wedding?!

  3. This definitely made me laugh! Being Catholic, I have heard all of this from my non-Catholic friends (sitting, staniding, sitting, kneeling, etc)! But I also think is what you are used to as well. Since I grew up Catholic, it is all I have ever known. So, when I went to my first non-Catholic service, just a few years ago, I was somewhat caught off guard by the structure their service as well. What a great story, though!

  4. Oh goodness, I think EVERYONE is overreacting. I'm a (now non-practicing) Catholic and I end up rolling my eyes at the severe bible thumpers all the time. If this kid was like 10 years old and doing that, then yes, I think it would be appropriate to take it. Second, she shouldn't have to apologize for defending her religion when someone else offends her by not knowing the practices and not adhering to them when asked. Third, the priest made the decision to give the bread to the kid, so ultimately it's his own fault.

  5. Ha ha this cracks me up and if it is the Monica I'm thinking of - I can totally see her doing that. But she had every right to!

  6. A few clarifications...the mother of the little GIRL (easily confused!) Received communion and handed it to the child to play with. The little girl was not personally handed a host. Also, the father and grandmother were both raised Catholic, so they can not claim ignorance. Monica handled that situation MUCH better than I would have. In conclusion, you do not have to understand or believe in something in order to be respectful to others and their beliefs.