Monday, May 3, 2010

There’s a First for Everything

Saturday was my oldest son’s First Holy Eucharist mass at church.  For my non-Catholic readers, the First Holy Eucharist is when Catholics get communion for the first time (not sure how you guys do it in your particular sect), kids receive it when they are in second grade or older.  For my non-Christian readers, in Christian religions, our god asks us to eat his flesh and drink his blood in a weekly ritual ala Bram Stoker. 

Our god’s son, who is also our god, not another god, the father god and the son god are the same god, he just talks about himself sometimes as the father and sometimes as the son, and sometimes he talks to himself as the father or as the son (not really sure how that all works, but we take it on faith that this is the way it works.  There is also third part to the god and he goes by the name Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, and he shows up when the god wants to appear to people and tell them to kill someone or get them pregnant).  Anyway, the father part sent his son part down to Earth and was letting his son part get tortured and killed to make a point about sin and forgiveness, and the night before the son part was about to die, he had a meal with his followers.  At the dinner, he pretended that a piece a bread was his body and the wine was his blood and had his followers eat and drink it.  The next day he was nailed to a cross and died.  Three days later, the son pulled a Romero-esque comeback and rose from the dead.  So every Sunday, we go and celebrate this, and today was the first time my 7 YO got to do it.

We got up early and prepared.  My 7 YO got a new suit for the occasion and my 5 YO wanted to be part of the action so he put on a sports coat.  After getting dressed, my 5 YO said to his brother, “Wow, that suit makes you look 8.”

We had to slick his hair back with a lot of gel and then layered on some hairspray just to keep it in place.  It lasted for almost four hours before it busted out into an unruly mop.

(I am the tall dorky one on the right)

We went for lunch at the Mountain Branch Grill and Pub.  They served some of the best fried calamari I had ever eaten (the best I have ever had and possibly the best meal ever was at Roy’s) and an amazing blackened ahi tuna sandwich.  We got to sit outside and enjoy the wonderful weather and watch the golfers on the practice green.

We discussed the interesting fact that even though we celebrated mass that morning, we were still obligated to attend later that day or on Sunday.  I had never heard this before and I was not about to head back to church this weekend, according to my Cathlometer (that’s the little needle in my head that measures my current afterlife outcome and wavers between “Playing a Harp” and “Roasting with a Pitchfork”, I am sure after writing this post, roasting will probably be my only option), I was holy enough for the week, but according to church law, we did not fulfill our weekly obligation.  My argument to this is that it must be 5 o’clock somewhere in the world (in fact, it was around 5 PM in Rome (GMT + 2) when we were at mass (GMT – 4)), I figured if it works for having a beer, it should work for communion.  The consensus we reached was since they didn’t pass a collection plate, it doesn’t count as mass.

We also discussed what happens if you should throw up the host (the bread aka the body of god) at some point after communion.  One idea was that you have to have a priest dispose of the emesis properly (bury it in sacred ground, burn it, etc.).  Again, I have never heard this before, so I did a little research.  The only clear reference I could find was here and here.  So if you have to blow chunks, make sure you catch it in something you can hold on to until the priest gets there.  Luckily, everyone held on to their communion and their lunches.

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