One thing I’ve always loved about being Catholic is how much the Church likes loves to par-tay!
I think it’s awesome that our Faith has basically earmarked every single day of the calendar year with some feast day or event so that we can both celebrate big holidays and embarrass our peers with cheery greetings such as, “Happy martyrdom of St. Paul! What? You mean you didn’t know? Tisk, tisk, tisk..”
And then there are the sacramental parties, aka. the celebrations where we can really go-to-town and let that frenzied, ‘I-must-have-it-all,’ Catholic gift shop gene loose, right?
I mean, you have a baby and BAM! You, my friend are now obliged to throw the holy-party-three-pack: Baptism, Holy Communion, and the Confirmation, wherein you collect as many religious trinkets as they may need to ward off temptation for the next fifty years! (and if you are Hispanic like myself, it’s required that you to select at least 20 godparents per kid before they’re fully initiated into the Church).
However, at times, one does hesitate, despite their lifetime of prescriptive Catholic partying, to revel publicly in the joys of the Holy Spirit.
I’ll speak for myself: it is the sudden moment, in the midst of all my planning for the glorious occasion, where I face the realization that I am inviting people to my party.
You know, them. Members of the clan of humanity, whom, statistically speaking are more likely to camp out overnight to catch the premier of Hangover III than courteously rsvp to my child’s rebirth in the Holy Spirit (unless texting me fifteen minutes before the ceremony starts counts as thoughtful, in which case, yeah, they’ll do that).
Anyone else ever have that realization and almost not send the invitations?
So I made a list. It’s a small list of the some of the biggest sacramental party faux pas and crashers that have almost caused me to avoid a beautiful, supposed-to-be-Christ centered occasion.
I say, almost, because, of course my better, Catholic partying sense has come to my rescue so-far. We ain’t a ‘quiet ceremony with two witnesses’ kind of Church. We are a feast day everyday, every sinner in the house and the kitchen sink is invited Church. Nothing like making a big deal out of a big deal – and we’re kind of good at that. Just re-watch some of the footage from Pope Francis’ election for proof!
And then these guys show up:
The ‘we aren’t going to the Church, just the reception afterwards’ crowd.
So my child is entering into God’s life of grace? That’s ankle level. What?! There are margaritas afterwards?! Dude! We will meet you at the restaurant. (um, face palm?).
Never mind the lack of religiosity, how about the lack of class? Someone went out of their way you think of you, invite you, and yes, pay for your meal and drinks and you show up basically to be fed. Seems that someone’s life of grace has been pretty neglected lately, wouldn’t you say? Not mention your treadmill, most likely.
The “Can I invite my single friend, to meet some of the other singles that will be there?” person
Seriously? My infant, the fruit of my womb, whom I just squeezed out of my battered, still-went-to-mass-on-Sunday-anyway frame a little while ago, who will become an adopted child of God the Almighty Creator of the Universe, will be center stage and you want to play match-maker on the sidelines?
It also shows: your baby? Faith? God? Meh. Not so much. My moping single friend hitting-it-off with someone: them’s the games I want to watch.
No. Just no.
The “We aren’t going to tell you that we’re bringing strangers to your sacramental celebration because, (insert innane reason here).”
I still just don’t get this one.
This may be a religious party, pal, but the food and beverages still don’t multiply themselves, you know. And is it really so hard just to even text me, even fifteen minutes before the event, that you’re brining other people?
That and the uninvited guest that comes always sits silently in a corner with a ‘deer in headlights look’ once they realize how out of place they are. But by all means, invite your own friends to your own party, because, you know, that’s normal.
The “I’m not Catholic so I’m going say really stupid things all night to make myself feel like I’m the cool one” person
I don’t even know why I still invite this person. Maybe charity? Maybe to meet other singles there that might straighten them out? Doh! I committed my own faux pas.
Bonus: Whoever sits next to them gets to hear all about their estranged relationships, dysfunctional family, medical history, career woes and their latest superficial acquisition – usually a boat or jet ski. Because that’s what everyone who celebrates a first Holy Communion or baptism lives to hear about…what your lame life away from the Church consists of.
Is it too much to ask to just not make a sacramental celebration weird? For this person, yes it is.
Have any crashers or faux pas you want to share? Leave a comment! And by all means, be merciful to these folks, they may need the party more than you do.
Copyright 2013 Marissa Nichols