The boys made their first confession this evening. Their sister sang in the school choir. They were all a mass of tension. Herself because she had a solo; the boys because they had to confess their sins and in Irish to boot. I had read them Frank O’Connor’s “First Confession” to get them in the mood.
It all passed off peacefully. The children did a drama on the altar about the lamb who had gone astray (Michael was the lamb) and then went up and made their first confession. It’s a lovely ceremony. The priest told them, quite mendaciously (one assumes), that he had been speaking to the new Pope who had said they were all good boys and girls. When he asked where the Pope was from, there was a forest of hands which did not include Michael’s. He was leaning over the edge of the pew examining the parquet flooring. Daniel, however, was a credit to us and very serious, sober and upright throughout.
At the end, Michael asked me whether he could now get the “holy bread” at mass on Sunday thus showing his, alas, utter ignorance of the nature of the sacrament of reconciliation which he had just received. He appears to have fatally confused first confession and first communion. This might be remedied, if I made known to him the likely cash bonanza that his first communion will bring but I feel that this is hardly in the spirit of the sacrament.
We all went for a drink and the children have just now been whisked off to bed. And tomorrow we’re flying to London. It’s just non-stop excitement.