Monday, May 03, 2010

Explaining Catholic Mass To A 6-Year Old

by Scott Dalen

One thing that I've learned over the past couple of years that I've been in the journey of seminary is to appriciate the traditions of other denominations. They may not line up with ours, but there is still merit within the traditions that help others to worship the Lord.

My sister is Catholic, and therefore her three daughters are also being raised Catholic. Yesterday was her middle daughter's 1st Communion. As my sister lives in Decorah, IA and I live in Okoboji, this meant a road trip. So Saturday morning we loaded up the car for an over-nighter and headed east. Its about 3.5 hours worth of driving to get there. Not bad for adults, but that can get a little on the long side with a couple kids under 6. We made it though, so I guess that's all good.

Yesterday morning we headed to the church (along with a whole bunch of other family members as well). I always get a bit of a charge out of attending Mass. Its not quite the same, though we have a lot of the same things. Its always easy to pick out the Protestants in the crowd. Their the ones not kneeling.

My son was sitting on my lap and he got a kick out of the kneeler. I was trying to explain what it was for, at least until we hit the first occurance of kneeling. My aunt and uncle (also Catholic) were sitting next to us so they busted out the kneeler. Then the lady (that we didn't know) sitting behind us tried to get my son to kneel. He just looked at her. Which I thought was a little humorous.

A little bit later, the priest came by with the little thing that sprinkles the congregation with Holy Water. I'll admit to not knowing what that little thing is called, but I had to explain it to both kids.

Once we got to the portion of the service where they served communion, I had to explain to my son why we didn't go up for communion. "How come we didn't go Dad?" I did my best to explain why Catholics have a closed communion table. Not sure if I really got the point across to him or not though.

The thing that gave me the biggest charge was to see the curiosity from both kids. They saw things that were unfamiliar to them, which tells me that they've been paying more attention in church than I realize.

I call that Good Chicken.


Anonymous Ruth Thill said...

I was interested to read your take on mass. Since I am the "Convert Catholic Aunt", I was getting a kick out of Jack's reaction to the kneeler issue! Didn't realize you were getting "taught" by the neighbors tho... too funny!!! And, as all good converts, I don't know what the holy water sprinkler thingy is called either! (that's what I call it!) Was fun to have you all there and yes, the kids really are kind of interested in seeing how things are done in other churches... I think it is good for them to get the exposure once and awhile, don't you?
Was great to see you all and hope to see you again real soon!

5/03/2010 04:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's called an aspergillum.

5/03/2010 07:50:00 PM  

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