“Oh Tigger, where are your manners?”
“I don’t know, but I bet they’re having more fun than I am.”
In my daily quest to increase my chances of being struck by lightning by doing things like replacing our nativity scene with Harry Potter’s Hogwarts castle, I have worked diligently on eroding the “good points” I may have obtained from years of attending Catholic school. As part of this on-going program, I have become a little lax in the church attending department.
I won’t give you all of the standard excuses because I used to be pretty critical of the twice-a-year church attendees – and now I have become one of them. I must say, though, that my world got a little rocked when I attended a Catholic funeral yesterday. While I was gone – since April- they went and changed the words on me.
What’s truly embarrassing is that I can sing the words to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It,” but I was fumbling through a recitation I’ve done hundreds of times before I even got five minutes into it.
If you are Catholic, and have been attending Mass regularly, then you obviously know what I’m talking about. If you are Catholic and haven’t been since Easter, let me tell what to expect on Christmas day so you don’t make a fool out of yourself like I did. And, if you are not Catholic, allow me to explain by saying, up until now (and I am 43 years old), the Mass has been something one could, conceivably, attend on auto-pilot. Now, apparently, everyone needs to be in the cock-pit.
At least until we learn where the new buttons are for flying this thing.
If they had changed the whole darn thing, it probably would have been easier. But they lull you into that sense of security, the predictable responses that we’ve always chanted back to the priest for all of our lives – and then they throw in what appears to be an unnecessary change.
For example, the priest used to say, “The Lord be with you,” and we would respond, quite logically, “and also with you.” Now we are supposed to say, “and with your spirit.”
I’m trying not to be all cranky about it, like the lady in the Huffington Post, who said, “It’s ridiculous. I’ve been a Catholic for 50 years, and why would they make such stupid changes? They’re word changes. They’re semantics,” she said.
I almost could agree with her, now that I have spent an entire funeral mass loudly saying the wrong words as I stood next to a staunch every-Sunday Catholic. But the Huffington Post lady lost me when she went on to say, “It’s confusion. All it’s doing is causing confusion,” she said. “You want to go to church and be confused?”
Lady, that’s all I’ve ever been in church – confused. It started when I was a kid and thought God rang the bells right before the Communion, only to disappointingly observe one of the altar boys doing it one day, continued all of the way through my mother marrying a priest to the present day when I am trying to figure out how I can explain to my daughter that God will only forgive us if we regretfully confess, but we are supposed to forgive everyone – whether they are sorry or not – essentially implying that we must be more forgiving than God. So I don’t think confusion has ever stopped the Catholic church from doing something. That argument isn’t going to take you very far.
Plus, I kind of don’t want to go to church anyway. And it’s not because I feel like an idiot when I say the wrong thing.
What I would like to do – some day when I have nothing else to do and I’m feeling brazen – is to go to Mass and start chanting something completely different the whole entire time. Like the text of Winnie-the-Pooh. It would be even better if I could plant several co-conspirators throughout the congregation to do it all together. Before I do that, though, I need to get my funeral all planned. Because I’m pretty sure deliberately sabotaging the words to a Catholic mass is lightning strike-worthy even if nothing else I’ve done qualifies.