I know so many people who dread Sunday as it signals the end of the weekend and the return to the workweek. I am not one of those people. Raised in a Roman Catholic family, Sunday was ALWAYS a day of rest. We would get up and get ready for church… having gone to Confession the night before — yes, every week. You haven’t lived unless you have experienced the rites of the Roman Catholic sacrament of penance (aka, confession) on a weekly basis. And think about it. Seriously, as little kids, what “sins” could you have possibly committed that were so heinous that a weekly trip to the confessional was required? It seems someone in the church hierarchy, and our parents, thought us little monsters needed a weekly dose of whoop-ass, RC style.
I still snicker when I think of part of that ritual. You see, we attended a church where the confessional was WAY up the very long aisle and in the sacristy (behind the altar). We would wait in line for each new sinner to go up, start the prayer “Forgive me Father for I have sinned,” admit how long since their last confession (on the off chance you missed a week), and then launch into the list of sins for that week. At the end, one more prayer and then the verdict … usually a series of prayers including, for some reason I still don’t understand, a large number of “Hail Marys.”
My brother, Ned, was a tiny fellow. And something about confession scared the crud out of him. I suspect it’s because he was quite the sinner. I know this as every Saturday, little, tiny Ned would walk WAY up that aisle to the sacristy, and assume the position (that sounds horrible, doesn’t it? If you’re Catholic, you know what I mean. If you’re not Catholic, as you went into the confessional you knelt down in front of a screen, separating you from the priest and, allegedly, shading your face, as well as the priest’s). Having assumed the position, Ned then launched into the prayers and his litany of sins. Unfortunately for Ned, he was so nervous that rather than the traditional low, almost whispered, rendition, he would speak loudly. Very loudly. So loudly that we heard each and every one of his transgressions – as did my mother.
It was hysterical. The poor kid could be heard admitting to the number of times he lied and the number of times he swore. Apparently my brother had quite the potty mouth. I don’t remember hearing it directly but I sure heard him telling the priest. My mother tried to help the kid out, not wanting to embarrass him, by strongly suggesting he lower his voice. But no matter the warnings, nerves always won out and he would fold like a cheap suit — reciting LOUDLY his sins. Tough luck for him but it made our Saturdays more amusing.
Anyway, that was Saturday night prep for Sunday morning torture. But the torture only lasted about an hour and then there was the stop at the “Variety Store” for the newspapers and, if we had behaved in church, donuts from the bakery. Quite the treat. Once we were home, the race was on to get out of church clothes and into play clothes. Play clothes were essential as the next activity was watching wrestling on tv while Mom put the finishing touches on Sunday (noon) dinner.
I have to wonder what network wizard thought to schedule WWF on Sunday mornings, but it was brilliant. Nothing like enormous men jumping around a ring to erase the church doldrums. Of course, my brothers inevitably got into re-enactments which lead to even more hijinks. I still remember getting “clothes-lined” trying to walk through the living room. It was harmless. It was fun. And it was followed by a big dinner and then an afternoon free from any chores. Sundays were heavenly.
I am thinking of all of this as today was another heavenly Sunday. I did get up with a list of things I probably should have accomplished but, instead, I had a day of things I wanted to do. I went to church. I took myself out to a lovely brunch. I did some marketing. I started a great soup in the slow cooker. When that was all done I decided to take a little nap (my very favorite Sunday activity). I was awakened by my brother (the loud sinner) and his son stopping by to visit. We decided to head out for Sunday night dinner and an ice cream treat. We had laughs and, did I mention, ice cream? They went there way and I came home and watched the movie “Saving Mr. Banks.” And now I’m writing. Could it possibly get any better than this?
What a great day! Have a wonderful week, friends.