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Communion Season

31 May, 2014 at 10:22 pm by belgianwaffle

We have been to three first communions over the past three weekends.

One Sunday we turned up at mass only to find that it was first communion Sunday. Traditionally, these ceremonies have taken place on a Saturday but a shortage of priests means that they are moving to Sundays. Other regulars were absent but, having missed choir rehearsal during the week, we hadn’t heard. A very long mass involving hoards of relatives filming in the aisle and a particularly lengthy sermon from the parish priest who is no slouch in this department even under normal circumstances.

The priest said to the first communicants that in a way they were now grown-up. Michael snorted in derision, “Maybe if there was a 1 in front of the 8. Then they’d be in college and grown-ups. [Pause] College is school for grown-ups. [Further pause] Work is school for proper grown-ups”

Then the following Saturday, Daniel was singing in the choir for the school first communion. He and I daringly, and relatively successfully cycled into town for the mass.

Last Saturday, the children’s cousin had his first communion. We were almost late but made it. The ceremony was lovely and there was an impressive array of food on offer in the children’s school afterwards. I had to pace myself, however, as the communicant’s parents, rather bravely, in my view, had the extended family (17 people) around for lunch afterwards. All very successful, including a number of live renditions of the hit songs from Frozen.

This weekend, there are no first communions. We don’t know what to do with ourselves.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

30 May, 2014 at 10:13 pm by belgianwaffle

Whenever I see a guard, I worry that I am about to be arrested. I cannot imagine why this should be as I am excruciatingly law abiding. So, I got a shock when I came home one evening and saw Mr. Waffle chatting to a Guard at the front door.

It was our community guard (Mr. Waffle knows all sorts of people from the residents’ committee). I said to the guard how I had performed an examination of conscience when I saw him but felt I was crime free. He said, that there was no need for me to do this, and rather it was the contrary as, in the wake of recent issues, they were going around house to house asking people were they happy with the guards. Who’d be a guard? Also, they are definitely getting younger.

A La Carte

29 May, 2014 at 10:44 pm by belgianwaffle

We have an American priest some Sundays and it is something of a culture shock to the Irish congregation; we’re mostly used to him now.

A couple of weeks ago, instead of mumbling the creed all together as a congregation, he called out the lines and the congregation had to say “absolutely!” in between each declaration [traditionally where this has been done, the congregation has said “I do” but each to his own, I suppose].

So, the Creed began:
Priest: I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth
Congregation: Absolutely.
Michael: NO.
Priest: And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord.
Congregation: Absolutely.
Michael: Nope.
Me: Furious hissing.
Michael: Well I don’t.
And so Michael went on to the amusement of the congregation until –
Priest:I believe in the .. forgiveness of sins.
Michael (loudly): Absolutely.

Report from the Front Line – Religious Instruction

29 May, 2014 at 10:36 pm by belgianwaffle

Teacher: So, then, after the resurrection…
Child 1: Wait, Jesus came back from the dead?
Teacher: Yes.
Child 2: But nobody can come back from the dead, Miss, when you’re dead, you’re dead.
Teacher: Nevertheless…
Child 3: Seriously, Miss, who believes that?
Teacher: You do, and you’d better get going before your confirmation on Thursday.

Parenting Fail

28 May, 2014 at 10:33 pm by belgianwaffle

Me: What happens if you leave [small, plastic, breakable] Skylanders on the floor?
Daniel [not being sarcastic, just genuinely trying to guess the right answer]: You’ll pick them up?

Saint Paul

27 May, 2014 at 1:06 am by belgianwaffle

I am not a great fan of Saint Paul in general. On St. Patrick’s Day, though we had this from one of his letters:

“I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith..”

That really is beautiful. My mother is quite ill – though not getting any worse, or unfortunately, much better – and I suppose that because of this, I find that letter that he wrote towards the end of his life has a greater meaning for me now than it did when it was all more abstract for me.

Of course, St. Paul finishes it off with “all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that Day..” No false modesty there then.


27 May, 2014 at 12:31 am by belgianwaffle

We have just had European and local elections. Am I the only person who enjoys talking to canvassers? That may be a yes. In the months that preceded the election, the children got into the habit of running around the house shouting, “Mum, come quickly there’s a canvasser at the door”. Jason O’Mahony suggested a couple of questions for candidates and I tried them out but, somewhat to my chagrin, I was easily distracted every time and failed to pin anyone down on these relatively straightforward questions. It was all, “enough about me, let me talk about your issues, how are you getting on with the new rubbish collection arrangements?”

A friend of mine said that every time she went out hoping to give the canvassers an earful about her views on their parties (like me, she wanted to be what they were saying on the doorsteps), the canvasser would turn out to be the candidate’s mother and she would have to hold back. Is it only in Ireland where you have a very good chance of meeting the candidate or his/her mother canvassing on the doorsteps?

Anyway, all over for a bit; must try harder next time.

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