Reflections for Sunday: Communion

01/Mar/2009

I was raised Catholic. This pretty much means I went to church every Sunday (or Saturday night, which was shorter and thus preferable) and left shortly after Communion because THAT was the part God wanted us to attend. Communion.

A little girl’s first Holy Communion is a little sacred. Not because you’re entering a more “mature” faith in the Catholic eyes, but because you get to wear a white bride dress. I never did know WHY I got to wear the bride-dress but I did count down the days until I dawned my white veil and pretty dress and looked holy as Mary and all virgin fresh innocent. Lord knows I wouldn’t wear a white dress to my wedding nor be all virgin-fresh so this was my one chance to walk down an isle floating as a Christ-bride.

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We waited excited for that part of the mass where the Priest turns Styrofoam in to the Body of Christ and the grape juice in to the blood. Literally. As in LITERALLY. Telling this to an 8 year old sorda makes her freak out a bit. Because didn’t we just do a study on cannibalism and don’t they, like, eat people and stuff and wasn’t Jesus a person-non-person and isn’t that sorda, um, gross?

Except it’s not gross as long as He doesn’t touch your teeth. Then it’s all cool. Just DO NOT BITE JESUS.

I ran down the list of things to do: 1. Do not trip in front of the alter.
2. Hold my hands out for the Christ-bread with my left over my right.
3. Shit, remember which one was left and which was right.
4. Say amen after the Priest presents the Body of Christ.
5. Amen.
6. Take the right hand from below and pop the bread in my mouth but DO NOT BITE JESUS FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY.
7. Do the sign of the cross and step aside for the assembly line of Christ eaters to finish.

I remember sweating every Sunday after this first run of communion. I remember always freaking out WHICH HAND, DO NOT BITE, DO NOT BITE. I remember Jesus sticking to the roof of my mouth and my tongue tired as it pushed Jesus along to mush Him up enough to swallow. I’d mush and mush Jesus and He would take my spit and make it disappear like the red sea shortly after it was parted to dry land. Or something like that.

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I attended Catholic mass until I was in college. At that time I chose the churches that people could clap their hands and shake a bootie and maybe cuss sometimes. Because I was sure Jesus cussed. Or maybe he didn’t. Or maybe he took his name in vain sometimes. “Oh Me. H. Christ.” Or maybe not.

But I was sure Jesus wasn’t the sort of guy to condemn an 8 year old girl to everlasting hell-fire because she accidentally bit him that one time in Communion. Or at least I hope so. Otherwise? I’m so totally screwed.

*This post is part of a new goal of mine to reflect on some sort of religious-ish portion of my life.
**Also, for Sundays, please enjoy Serenity Now! at room 704.

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Comments

  1. The Catholic Church sure did a number on us as kids.  Enjoy your Sunday!

    By Megryansmom on 2009 03 01

  2. Jesus made wine and hung out with “sinners”.  He probably swore to boot.

    He is kind of awesome, regardless of what the Church has done to give Him a bad name.

    MWAH!

    By Angella on 2009 03 01

  3. i love the idea and look forward to reading about your experiences with religion!

    By tish on 2009 03 01

  4. I was raised Catholic too and I actually stopped attending primarily because as an adult, the cannibalism stuff bothers me.

    For the past month I’ve been attending temple on Friday with my husband (he’s Jewish).  And I’m not going to convert, but I have to say, I freaking love it.

    It’s amazing where you find religious comfort.

    By Overflowing Brain on 2009 03 01

  5. I loved this. When I was about 12 I helped get the wafers ready for mass, er, I mean I shoved as many as I could in my mouth when no one was looking because I thought they were yummy.  I guess some of the holy was lost on me. If you are going down for biting, where do you think I’ll go for stealing and biting and hoarding?  See you there…

    By Brigid on 2009 03 01

  6. I think your new goal is a really good one.  I’ve thought about doing something like that before, but I’m too chicken shit.  I don’t like to get into religious WARS (because that’s what they always end up being) with people.

    So here’s my religious-ish story of late, on someone else’s website.  My husband was raised SUPER CATHOLIC and when I met my (insert in-law here) (sorry, I have to edit that part to keep my head attached to my body), she was still going to Mass a few times a week.  Recently, because it’s snowing ALOT where she lives, she started tuning in to tele-evangelism shows, which are all Protestant.

    So there was a family talk awhile ago at which point she mentioned that she was starting to doubt the Church and some of its teachings because of this tele-evangelism stuff.  To which I responded that I could have given her plenty of material for doubt years ago and saved her the angst of watching all that crap television.

    I wish that real-life came with the Internet’s power to DELETE and EDIT.

    By Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com on 2009 03 01

  7. I think your new goal is a really good one.  I’ve thought about doing something like that before, but I’m too chicken shit.  I don’t like to get into religious WARS (because that’s what they always end up being) with people.

    So here’s my religious-ish story of late, on someone else’s website.  My husband was raised SUPER CATHOLIC and when I met my (insert in-law here) (sorry, I have to edit that part to keep my head attached to my body), she was still going to Mass a few times a week.  Recently, because it’s snowing ALOT where she lives, she started tuning in to tele-evangelism shows, which are all Protestant.

    So there was a family talk awhile ago at which point she mentioned that she was starting to doubt the Church and some of its teachings because of this tele-evangelism stuff.  To which I responded that I could have given her plenty of material for doubt years ago and saved her the angst of watching all that crap television.

    I wish that real-life came with the Internet’s power to DELETE and EDIT.

    By Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com on 2009 03 01

  8. “Oh Me. H. Christ.“

    Sheer. Brilliance.

    By VDog on 2009 03 01

  9. I think this is a great goal.  I’ve been trying to do some talk about my religious goals / thoughts over on my page because it helps me think through stuff to write it down.  Also, if I write down things like my intentions for Lent & tell the whole inter-webs, then maybe I won’t flake out before the 40 days are up.

    By TexasRed on 2009 03 02

  10. DDUUUDDEEE…it’s so funny because I remember all that. I remember going into the KID room because mom didn’t want to deal with me being loud. You know, IN THE BACK OF THE CHURCH where we always sat.  the LAST row. lol.

    I remember you and I goofing off and driving mom crazy.  GOOD TIMES

    By sister flinger on 2009 03 02

  11. DDUUUDDEEE…it’s so funny because I remember all that. I remember going into the KID room because mom didn’t want to deal with me being loud. You know, IN THE BACK OF THE CHURCH where we always sat.  the LAST row. lol.

    I remember you and I goofing off and driving mom crazy.  GOOD TIMES

    By sister flinger on 2009 03 02

  12. Jesus, Mary and Joseph that’s GOOD STUFF!!! I am a reformed, er former, Catholic girl myself. Your story reminds me of my First Holy Confession. Actually, un-holy confession. The priest sat in his little box and there was a door on either side. When it was my turn, I solemnly entered, knelt down and said my little memorized speech (Forgive me father for I have sinned, this is my First Holy Confession.”). Silence. I repeated my speech (wasn’t he supposed to say something BACK? They didn’t tell us about that) and more silence ensued. So I proceeded to rattle off my laundry-list of predetermined sins. You know, I was mean to my sister, I talked back to my mom, said the Lord’s name in vain a few times… Nothing. I left and returned to my pew, where all of my friends were discussing their “sentences.” This one got two Our Father’s and a Hail Mary, that one got Three Hail Mary’s and a Glory Be. GOD MUST BE REALLY MAD AT ME, I thought, and knelt down and said an entire rosary. Would have been nice if someone had explained that the priest was simply chatting with my schoolmate on his OTHER side. I was traumatized…

    By jenna mccarthy on 2009 03 02

  13. I’m in big trouble. I grew up Lutheran with a single mother who worked every other weekend. Our weekend babysitter was Catholic.. so we were every other weekend. Since I was schooled in Communion in my Lutheran church (same town) I was allowed to take communion at the Catholic church. I don’t remember if anyone ever told me not to bite Jesus and how to hold my hands. I probably bit him everytime because Lutherans chew the bread/wafers.
    Good thing Lutherans believe in grace. wink Of course now I am a youth minister in a Presbyterian church where your soul is pre-destined regardless of whether or not you bite Jesus. wink

    By Leena on 2009 03 02

  14. I went to Catholic school for 12 years and was an altar girl.

    What I find very interesting is that so many people I know who were raised Catholic are currently practicing.

    By Maria on 2009 03 02

  15. Ha!  Don’t bite Jesus.  Words to live by.

    By Christine on 2009 03 06