Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Church In Our Life

Church In Our Life

You know your week has gone fast when it feels like you have been to church two days in a row. I find our church so homely. I have been attending mass there for nearly 20 years and Rob for 30! We see very familiar faces every week and in turn people like to see us and see how the kids are growing up. They always get comments about how cute they are or how they are getting bigger. It's lovely really & people enjoy seeing us.
So many members of our family attend mass as well. Rob's Mum is the choir mistress and leads the music every week. His dad is also there and his sister attends as well. Theresa (Rob's Mum) was brought up in the church so her siblings and her Father are there. On Rob's side of the family, there are always people there who we can share our family and faith. My family are all there and my grandparents, so we pretty much make up a good 30% of the congregation just between our two families. I think as we have been there for so long and people have seen the two families merge, there is a great pride for people to follow how the next generation are coming through the church.
What I find most fascinating about our church is how it has been involved in so much in our life. The traditional Catholic upbringing of First Holy Communion, Confirmation, later our marriage and then both children's Baptisms, it has been there for all of it. It is a very stable part of our life, it is just what we do. Our friends know that on a Sunday we are there and we will meet them or arrange things for after mass. There are never any worries, people just accept this is who we are, and I guess that is why they are our friends.

We have also been to countless functions and events and seen how the church is there to support. They put things on for families and for the community. They have dances and music nights for anyone to attend, and more recently they have started doing film nights. They are all ways in which to encourage people into the church by not preaching at them.
I have spent the last couple of years really struggling at church. The children can be so active and noisy, I find it hard to control them sometimes as all I want to do is not disturb others. It's so stressful! We are lucky that at the back of our church there is a lobby with a glass front wall so you can see into the church and still feel part of the mass if you are sat out there. They also have a speaker system linked up so this is a great benefit to parents with young children. This definitely helps me feel better as I feel like we are not disturbing people. But it does mean that Rob and I don't concentrate as much due to noise and distraction. Most people don't mind the noise anyway, it's just me stressing about an issue that isn't there. I just want to respect other people's prayer time so I like to try and respect that. we are still there and are trying. I know Rob feels something missing from our lives the following week if we don't get to mass for whatever reason & we think it brings us closer together as a couple to share mass weekly.

I always pack the kids some snacks and we take some cars or small toys that Raph can play with. To be fair to him he is really good and understands where we are but Etta has just got to a very vocal stage and she just chats loudly away to herself!
One thing that I do really notice about Raphael and his relationship with church is how comfortable he is there. He knows as we go in he blesses himself with the holy water and then as we find our seat he genuflects (kneels as a sign of respect). When mass has finished he will take himself off to find one of his Aunts or Uncles and go through for a cup of tea. He speaks with the parish priest and will help him collect eggs from the chickens in the church garden. He is just so used to being there it is like another home for him. People talk to him and he smiles and chats back in his own way. I am glad he enjoys it. I am sure when he is a teen we will face the " I don't want to go to church" battle, but for now, I am just going to try and enjoy going as a family and get the little bit of peace in my heart that I can.

Post by Emily


1 comment

  1. The most important thing is that you are there, people don't mind the antics of the little ones. But learning to worship together is such a vital part of family life. It gives you the graces you need to sustain you in your parenting!


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