Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Catholic church

Newly built, it is only six months old. Very beautiful. The Catholics are into the ritzy stuff and it does have its impact. It's a feast for the eyes.

I've got the scuttlebutt on the Holy Water and genuflection. This info comes thanks to my mom, a Catholic who took all the classes, and they were hard too. She's a proponent of abortion though. Don't ask me about that, I can't understand it!

I asked her who can, or who should genuflect in the Catholic church?

Genuflecting - it is right for everyone. It is respect and puts you in the right frame of mind. Usually, when you choose the pew you want to sit in, you make the sign of the cross (not absolutely necessary at the time but nice) then put your near hand on the back of the pew and quickly go down on one knee - you don't have to go all the way down just sort of bow or dip - you do that while looking in the direction of the altar.

Who can light a candle in memory of a loved one who has passed on?

Anyone can and you don't have to be Catholic! The idea is that the prayer continues as long as the candle burns. You don't have to talk to a priest - anyone can light a candle. You can light one and pray for what you need. You can light one and pray for someone else. You can leave 50¢ or $1.00 for the church if you want to, but you don't have to. There is usually a box with a slot kind of in the middle to put your money in. It helps them buy more candles. (I didn't know about leaving money but next time I will.)

What about this Holy Water?

Here's what you do...dip a finger or two in the water, and make the sign of the cross as you move on (everyone is usually in a hurry to get in so you do it on the move).

Again - it is perfectly correct for you to do as a Catholic and also as a respectful person. Re" Sign of the Cross." Entering a pew or with Holy Water you can do a "fast" sign. Fingers quickly toward the forehead and down to the sternum. Then quickly in the direction of the left breast to the right. Just sort of drawing it in the air in front of you.

And that is what I learned today. I took our son through the church and talked at length about Catholicism, God, religion, and etiquette.

Tomorrow is a driving day. Tonight I'm tired from visiting. It was one of the best visits ever though. My uncle has prostate cancer and he's gone through treatment and we all now are hoping that it will go away. Go away, go away, go away cancer. My uncle does not claim you, you are not wanted. Scat! My uncle is 80 and in super physical condition as far as we can see. He's a mover and a shaker and has always had a great sense of humor. He still drives to Nebraska every single year. Yeah man, by himself! He's been driving back since he moved away and joined the Army in the 1940s and never stopped. My dad does it too. I stopped going back since Grama (their mom) died. I've never seen my dad get so sick and he did after Grama died. It was the loss that made him so sick and he's a guy who never got a cold for 20 years. Said it was due to the orange juice he drank every morning but I say he was just really lucky. Haha! Nah, it's all in the mind I believe. I have two aunts there (in Nebraska) and some cousins. The brothers and sisters remain close. It's an incredible sight and experience to see them come together if one suffers a loss. It's like the immediate closure of a circle. I witnessed it and was a fringe part of it when my uncle's wife died.

It was she that I lit a candle for today.