Mom, Dad, and I walk into St. Dennis Church on a Sunday morning, a time I always dread. I always have to be quiet and sit still. Not to mention the constant rise and fall from everyone in their pews, saying (and singing) things that I don’t understand. My mom has told me, along with my Catechism classes, about the story of Jesus, and what it means to be a good Christian. I’ve read stories and done exercises, but I never really think about what I’m reading or learning.
I always go along with the flow, knowing my parents and the authorities know what’s best for me. We sit down in our pew, and mass begins. Songs ensue, which I either do not sing at all or sing very quietly. I am constantly frustrated in mass because there are so many times when I don’t know what to say and when to say it; “and also with you”, and “Lord hear our prayer” and even that weird thing that everyone does with the crosses over their foreheads, mouths, and hearts. I just try to follow this the best that I can but I don’t really know or care what it means. All I know is that I can’t wait for communion! I’m excited that I can participate in that now because I feel responsible like the grown-ups. And also, what little boy doesn’t like food, even if it’s a tasteless, dry piece of bread? I usually choose not tot drink the blood of Christ because I’m always afraid I’m going to take too much or spill it (plus, there’s the sharing of everyone’s germs in the whole church). I go back to my seat from communion and meet my dad, who chooses not to participate. It’s just something he has never done.
As mass goes on, my eyes usually wander to the beautiful painting of Jesus behind the altar. It is painted in a very colorful style. I love the inlaid gold halos over the characters’ heads. Old men come by each of our rows and stretch out baskets on long sticks for us all to put money in. My mom puts money in an envelope, representing our family. I don’t think much of it, its’ just charity. I do my best to sit through more songs and stories, and by now I’m tired of standing up. This feels like a waste of time and I just want to go home. Every time I come to mass, I search for the meaning but I leave feeling the same. I hear the final song that is usually played at the end of mass. I get so excited that it is finally time to go home. We get up and walk out, saying goodbye to the priest. As I leave the church I dip my hand in that weird water bowl at the entrance. I don’t’ know what it does . . . magic, I guess. I get in the car, relieved that this ritual is over, somewhat confused about what just happened.
Michael McGee | College for Creative Studies
In January of 2013, Tuning the Student Mind asked students to write about an experience as though it were through the eyes of a seven year old. Click here to see all of the guest blog posts in the Through the Eyes of Your Child Self category. Please feel free to submit your own to, firstname.lastname@example.org!