Friday, 14 March 2008

I confess to almighty God.......

.....that I am not a Roman Catholic but indeed Church of Scotland stuck in a dilemma.

I religiously attended my church (that being Church of Scotland) from Sunday school, right up until the tender age of 16 when I decided staying at home on a Sunday and having a cooked brunch ready for my dad coming home from work and my mum from church was a better, cooler option. When I meet my husband-to-be at the age of 19, who did still attend his church (Roman Catholic) I used to go with him, just to be with him - young love aahhhh, he has such a big family with occassions happening every other week, I found myself never away from the Roman Catholic church. It seemed only natural we should marry within an RC church, however we ommitted the full mass. We went to the class for engaged couples, we married, our children were baptised and I attend with my children on a regular basis, while the hubby works, this until now has been a way of life, no concern to me, I discuss with my children the way things are done in 'my church' and all of a sudden it has become a problem.

Given that I am nearly aahem 36, attended my church for 16 years and starting attending RC church at 19, I have infact, if you haven't worked it out already, been attending said RC church for 17 years! This in itself is not the problem, this is commitment, however, it recently became clear to me, once my daughter receives her first holy communion in May, my family will all receive communion - apart from me. This my dear friends is the problem. I do not feel it necessary to convert and become a catholic. I believe in faith and one God and prayer, I consider myself a good christian person and I don't mean 'christian' person, but what I would like is to receive communion, anywhere.

I have been to many RC churches where the Priest actively encourages anyone, who cannot, for whatever reason, receive holy communion to go up and receive a blessing, the children who have not yet taken their first communion are all blessed and although I have never done it, again, as I didn't feel the need, I decided I would like to receive a blessing at least. There lies another problem, our Priest - God Bless him - is a very ill, older Priest and he has never mentioned 'blessings,' the children who go with their parents for communion simply step aside. It started to bother me, so I decided to speak to the Priest. Priests scare me, I'm always frightened I get my termanology wrong and give myself a showing up. An ideal opportunity arose at my daughters information evening about her confirmation/communion, but before I spoke to the Priest I ran it by a friend, who's brother happens to be a younger, more hip Priest in the next village, advice taken and I approached Father C, I was direct and to the point and more or less said because I couldn't receive communion, being Church of Scotland, but defending myself with the fact I had married and had my children baptised in an RC church, and given that it is openly offered in other RC churches - perhaps that was too far! I would like to receive a blessing. It was difficult to tell how he felt, he simply said in a tone that made me feel as though I was about 6 ' as long as you make it perfectly clear you don't want to receive communion and you would do that by crossing you hands across your chest' Did I have his approval, I'm not quite sure, he said it would be acceptable, I got the feeling he didn't approve. And it's not as if I don't want to receive communion. I discussed it with a group of the mothers to see what they thought, some were non commital, others felt a blessing was appropriate.

My daughters confirmation was last Thursday 6th March, my lovely 19 year old niece was her sponsor. The young hip Priest was present and I decided it would be a good time to try out 'the blessing' check it out before the communion. I'll head for Father T I told the hubby, I'll try the young Priest first I thought, he must have heard me and headed straight to the back of the church leaving me to face Father C, I did, I'm an adult and I deserve a blessing, after the hubby and the 10 yr old. I crossed my hands across my chest and the sign of the cross was drawn on my forehead, I had to stop myself doing a lap around the aisles, who knows where 'our church' will head now, blessings it's a revolution.

I was very proud of my daughter who sat as straight and still as she could the whole service, she light her candle well and was proud to have her big cousin to share this moment with her, I sat chest puffed as I watched her and my niece take their places at the alter, I glanced at my mother-in-law, as she watched her youngest grandchild, last to be confirmed with her cousin by her side, I caught her glance at the hubby. It was a beautiful, special moment. My daughter was so neat and tidy, school uniform, boots shining and hair in 2 even french pleats, meeting into one school bobble (a bobble that matches her tie) Her hair was neat and tidy for fear that the boy sitting behind her would set her hair alight with his candle, it was 'even' that was luck, I'm not 'all that' at french pleating and it met into one bobble, because that's all we could find!

We collected the children and the sponsors from the church hall after the service and 2 mothers mentioned my blessing, perhaps I've started something right enough. I would perhaps like to speak to the Priest further and see what my options are, is it too much to ask that I should be able to receive communion, anywhere.

Oh the dilemma.....


Maggie May said...

My brother is in the same position. He married a RC and has had the 2 children brought up in that faith. He is free church! He has a blessing but can't take Communion
I go to a Baptist Church! Harry the same so no problem.
Good for you starting the Blessings! I can't see what all the fuss is about. It is all Christian isn't it? Sometimes I think Churches need to bring Unity instead of division. I'll get down from my soap box now, or shall I say out of the pulpit!

Frog in the Field said...

What a lovely post, you always write so well.
You know here we have bell ringers who are atheists, we have people who work incredibly hard raising money for the Church but they never attend. Our vicar is fully aware of their opinions and welcomes them all as good people rather than judging their religious leanings.
Your Priest will be happy to have you no matter what your calling, you're taking part and leading your children into their faith.

She's like the wind said...

Maggie May - 'It's all Christian' -exactly, that's the way I see it, but regardless of where you attend there is always some inititation before receiving communion, be it joining the church. I feel a sense of non belonging at the moment, I know the decision will come to me, eventually and I'll do something about it. Thanks for your comments. x

Frog - nice to see you, where have you been?

This is it, surely as a follower of Gods family there should be no rules. We have a poor following at our church, with not many children, but the Priest is quite slow and it's boring for children, there is no children's 'sunday school' but I do my best in attending with the kids. Perhaps one day we'll get a nice young Priest and things will change. x

Expatmum said...

Even tho' I'm a lapsed Catholic, I get all nervous when non-Catholics start asking if they can take Communion. Years and years of brain-washing, but it's just not done.
Good for you for persisting with the blessing thing though.

She's like the wind said...

Hi Expatmum - I don't actually expect to take communion in the chapel without first converting, I just don't think I want to convert, but I'm not going to go and become a member of the church of Scotland and be able to receive communion, but not attend, that to me would be more hypocritical, so the decision is accept the blessing and shut up or convert.
So for the moment the blessing will have to do! x

Isadora said...

:) I hear you, but the answer is within your heart. Your faith is a matter between you and your it is for all of us. I've been divorced and whenever I end up in a RC church for a Sunday mass - YES, I do get in line for communion IF I feel spiritually prepared (that means I didn't leave the house swearing, or came because I had to, etc.), but by the time communion arrives I can truly say 'I am prepared' to commune with my Lord.

Get in line for communion if that is what you feel you need. The church is not there to be a judge - but to serve. If it is not, you should find another.

She's like the wind said...

Hi Isadora - thanks for popping over, you summed it up very well and I think you're right, it is not for the Priest to decide but for me to do what I feel is right. Thank you. x

Manic Mother Of Five said...

Have very, very complicated views on religion - can argue myself in a circle in fact!

That said, I am really glad that you and the church you attend have found a compromise that keeps you both happy. Well done.

As for the daughter, bet you had a tear in your eye. Lovely.


She's like the wind said...

Hi MMOF, I'm a bit like you myself re religion, but I do believe in bringing my children up in a faith, any faith and then they can make their own minds up. I love the school they go to, it is very good in both education and religious education so I am happy with my choice there.

I was able to contain myself at the confirmation, no tears, but the singing touches me everytime. x