Nope I haven't been converted to Catholicism yet, but it was Nonno G's Mass on Sunday and family duties required our presence. Still I was pretty curious, and actually a bit nervous in case I did something stupid, like sit down when I was supposed to stand up or something else catastrophically daft, but it was all rather familiar.
So was it exactly as I expected?
Church was obscenely over decorated. Tick
Nice atmospheric music. Tick.
Male priest. Tick.
Nuns! Tick. (I hear Dougal's voice in my head whenever I see them!)
Incense. Nope :(
Altar boys. Nah.
Prayer books and bibles. Almost tick. A few people had prayer books.
Hymns. Nope. Really?
Actually without the hymns I could feel myself falling asleep, so I sat there in a bit of a reverie with my eyes closed thinking about those who have recently and not so recently departed. At other times I tried to follow the service.
I couldn't. Something about Beatitudes. I nudged A, "What was the sermon about?"
"Something about beatitudes."
"Yeah I got that. And?"
"I don't know. I couldn't really follow the sermon."
I'm not mentioning any names, I'm sure she's a good catholic girl. But she burst out writhing with "OH MY GOD that was SOOOOOO boring" or words to that effect, and started a snow ball fight with A.
Another person sat through the service patently and respectfully, but at the end when it came to Communion they were left on the pew. Divorced, but perhaps somewhat more devout than others. It was quite heart wrenching the injustice of it all.
Let's face it, there's only one man in Italy who still gets communion even though he's twice divorced. "How did they justify that?" I hear you ponder. Well just in case I heard correctly, I have it on good authority that if you get divorced, remarry and then divorce again, it's like one cancels the other one out...
Still as the prayers-du-jour were dished out, I picked up a mention of the man himself, even if he wasn't directly named. The revolution is brewing! How much longer can two rights make a wrong?
Is it a case of the speck in my neighbour's eye? OK I just stepped into the pope's shoes. I've spent a few years confessing Berlusconi... How could you not end up with a highly conservative view on sex and marriage after that?!