My grandmother, Laller, passed away on December 2. It’s been hard. There’s a bigger entry in the works of me processing, and my favorite story with her in her prime. But this is a thing I am dealing with. Poorly.
One of her requests was a full Mass service. I grew up Catholic. I’ve since converted to something else for a myriad of reasons. But I remember how to be Catholic. Vaguely. What I do remember is that to fully participate in Mass, I.E. ingest the holy sacraments, you need to have done a few things:
- Gone through First Communion.
- Gone to Mass every week. Preferably on Sundays.
Now. I did go through First Communion. I had my first Communion, Sunday school, and went through Confirmation. But I stopped going to Church about 11 years ago. You can atone for this sin by going to Confession. Something else I had not done in about 11 years.
Here’s a handy guide so you don’t wind up with 10 Rosaries assigned to you for penance.
- Do not start a confessional/penance session with a joke.
- Do not joke about stabbing hobos.
- Do not criticize the Church.
- Do not call the Pope an awesome chill guy.
- Do cry when you get overwhelmed about why you are giving your confession.
- Do apologize for being a dick because you cope with grief by inappropriate humor and being an asshole.
- Do not tell a priest you are an asshole.
- Do not try to explain the plot of the Black Jewels series to a priest.
- Just don’t bring up the Black Jewels series at all.
- Do not bite yourself. THE PRIEST CAN SEE YOU AND TELL YOU TO STOP.
- Do not question whether or not the fact that the priest can see you takes away from the whole anonymity that you thought was there for confessions.
- Do not bring up the priest that was recently arrested for murdering a woman who confessed something he couldn’t forgive.
- Do not NICELY ask the priest not to murder you.
- Do not ask why there are no female priests. You will not get an answer. The priest will just sigh and ask if you’re done confessing.
- Do actually confess your sins.
- Do not say you are confessing your sins in the eyes of the Church.