Easter Sunday approaches with dew in the air and buds on the trees. The day brings friends and families together to celebrate the unofficial arrival of Spring. Candy dishes are full of jelly beans and the chocolate bunnies sit on the counter with a shocked look on their face. Easter baskets are long gone, as far away as the kids live now. No need to put them out. The religious enjoy the spiritual meaning of the holiday. Us? Well, we attend Mass and would actually like to eat our jelly beans while listening to a good sermon, but that might be frowned upon.
Every since we got back from vacation, we started to attend Sunday Mass. I don’t know why, but I thought it was the right thing to do. Growing up Catholic, we both were religiously educated and received most of the sacraments. And, as we got more and more involved in life, kids and work, that part of our life slipped away somehow. Some people do a good job incorporating spirituality and life, but obviously we weren’t one of them. There always seemed like there was something else we had to do, or a place we had to go instead. Church didn’t fit into our schedule.
So here we are, a month into re-introducing ourselves to religious ceremony. Sermons are good, people are nice, but the benches are hard. We usually arrive early and just relax before the organ signals showtime. Looking around, we notice a lot of people we know. Feels kinda’ homey. We’ve even started to be recognized by the Pastor. It’s all about who you know, even at church. The choir starts singing a song that he recognizes, but I don’t. I know most of the prayers, but the hymns are touch and go.
My eyes start to droop. We woke up super early to go to the 8am Mass, and it’s just hitting me now, that this is actually the middle of my night. Good Lord, 8am! How can any sane person, or sane Catholic be to church so early? My head drops and I’m out like a light. Let the snoring commence. Right here while Father Anthony gives his weekly sermon. My companion nudges me awake and I’m incredibly embarrassed. I’ve made a commitment to my religion, but can’t stay awake for it. I’m going to burn in Hell.
I ask him if the sermon was nice, as we walk to the car. He said it was. We drove to get coffee and had a few laughs. I really felt bad for sleeping, especially when I was looking forward to a little Catholic wisdom dropped on me. Now, the only option I have, with my little problem, is a secondhand sermon. Shorthand. So why go at all, if I wasn’t going to get anything out of it?
So, I made a decision. If I was to continue to go to church, I wouldn’t go to the 8am Mass anymore. The odds of falling asleep were just too high. I can attend the 10:30am Mass and do just fine. I will stay awake. I will open the missalette and follow the hymns I don’t know. I will pretend to know the prayers that I don’t. I will listen to the sermon and try to be a good Christian. What more can I do?
Easter is here and it’s Spring! Whether you are religious or not, enjoy time with your family.
Don’t eat too much candy, and remember to get enough sleep.