Monday, April 21, 2014

Woot! It's Easter!

We attended Easter Mass.  It occurred to me that so much of what the priest was saying was made less accessible to younger church goers (Emma and Lily, for example) because of the language he was using.  Some of the language is so rooted in tradition and rite that I'm sure it can't be trifled with lightly.  And so I understand why they stick with it so doggedly. 

But at the same time, the church (Catholic church, mind you) just changed a lot of the responses during the ceremony, and my wife, for example, who has been catholic all her life, can no longer remember what she's supposed to say in response to certain things the priest says during the Mass.  Hell, even I used to know the right words. But those words are apparently no longer the "right" ones. And I wonder sometimes if the church really believes that there are "right" or "wrong" words in response, and if the new words are somehow more holy than the old ones were.

It makes me think too about how long the old responses were the "right" ones and what new data came to light that suggested the new words were..."holier" or something.  And I can't think of any new Jesus sightings, so I assume they unearthed some new scripture that was lost or translated some hitherto unknown scroll or something. And now instead of saying, "and also with you" we should say “and with your spirit." And other things.

So all of that seems stupid and nonsensical to me as a non-religiousy person.  And I get (having read about it) that it’s something with the translation that was bugging people for a while and now they’re suggesting it be interpreted in this new way that they feel is more in keeping with the intent of the translation, but I also have no doubt that someone will have a problem with this new way and it will change again at some future date.

Anyway, quite apart from the changing responses, which the church seems to do every couple decades...there are just some old, antiquated words that are used, and they're sorta meaningless to a kid like Emma and certainly to Lily (although Lily was saying it nonstop through church)
and so every time the priest would say Alleluia, I would automatically think in my head, "Woot".

And that got me started thinking about translating everything the priest said into more modern speech which essentially rendered everything he said unintelligible to my brain because I was so busy translating to "kid-speak" that I wasn’t really paying attention to what he was saying, which again, is the problem with using archaic speech to preach gospel to kids.  Cause they have no idea what the fuck you’re on about.  Rebirth = Godmode, conquered death = leveled up, alleluia = woot and so on.

I remember also thinking that the rejoicing was atypically somber when I started paying attention to the music during one of the responsorial hymns that said something to the effect of “let us rejoice” to the tune of the slowest most funereal dirge you can conceive.  “Rejoicing:  You’re doing it wrong.”

The priest did the baptismal wet t-shirt contest thing again, but failed to hit  me with even one drop of holy water, which took the whole “It burns! It burns!!” wind right out of my sails because I was getting ready to say it and the next thing I knew he was gone and I was still dry.  But maybe that’s a sign or something.

After the service, while we were together as a family cooking brunch, my sister mentioned how it’s apparent that we take Lily to church a lot, because of how good she was (she really was) and because of how much she participated in the songs and how she even knew some of the words, which my dad also commented on later.  And essentially, Lily echoes stuff a split second after she hears it.  She does it a lot when she watches TV.  I don’t know how she keeps her speech straight because she’s saying the stuff they JUST FINISHED SAYING as they say new stuff…and she follows that as well.  It is really difficult to listen to and make sense of, but often she’s so close to saying what they are saying that it gives the appearance of her saying it with them.  But it was nice, because Lily was saying Alleluia (woot) appropriately (it sounds more like aw-way-woo-ya, but it’s cute as the Dickens) and so we all sort of appeared to fit right into the church service.

We had our traditional Easter Brunch at my sister’s house with mimosas, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, eggs (deviled, hard-boiled, and scrambled), fruit and sticky buns, and after a few hours I got sleepier and sleepier and sleepier until we finally packed up and drove home.  Leslie drove.

This morning while we were getting ready Leslie remarked, “I should have stopped after that first mimosa” to which I replied, “I should have stopped after my third,” which goes a long way toward explaining the stupor I found myself in for the rest of the afternoon.

Anyway…good Easter celebration all-in-all.


  1. nice post.. glad that you had a nice Easter with your family and were able to make it to mass. We opted to spend the day as a family on the ski hill, just the way Jesus intended. ;)

    1. lovely Easter. And yes, Jesus ruled the powder. Let us slalom in His name. Woot!

  2. It made me smile. I grew up catholic but along the ways have became atheist, yadda yadda, but anyways growing up in Poland I remember the response (in polish) and translated it was in fact "and with your spirit" so I guess maybe they're onto something ;)
    But don't ask me why or really if jesus cares or what. Guess it's better though than Latin which nobody could understand. Or perhaps that was better, kids and adults together having no idea what the heck was going on.

  3. My real question is, "What was Jesus wearing to greet the disciples, post-resurrection? The Romans stole his street clothes, and he left the grave clothes in the tomb. Just sayin'... (And will someone please tell me why Jesus can't be called undead? It seems to be an unpopular description.) Ducking the lightning bolts now!

  4. Ever since the homily at my daughter's first communion was about death and dying (8 year olds love that kind of stuff), I have wondered about who the target audience for such a thing would ever really be. Again, rejoicing all wrong! Mimosas all around!!!