Monday, November 2, 2009

All Saints Day

While Halloween was definitely special, the next day was pretty special too. It was All Saints Day and our parish invited the children to dress up as a saint and process into mass with the processional.

I jumped at the chance to remind Beezus and Ramona of the full strength of their Old Testament names. The fact that Beezus' namesake is not a saint and that Ramona's namesake may or may not be a saint was a mere technicality in my mind.

Beezus and I went to Value Village on Saturday afternoon to acquire their "saintly" costumes. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'd be able to pull them together there. Just in case you didn't know, pillowcases make FANTASTIC costumes. Beezus wore a purple turtleneck, a purple pillowcase as a kind of sheath, and a green satin polyester nightshirt as a robe. Add a gold rope belt that's really for a Christmas tree and some purple striped tights and purple shoes that you already own, and voila - Queen Beezus. Ramona wore a cream turtleneck, cream tights, a brown pillowcase and a woven rope belt, and voila - Ramona the Moabess. I found some fake flowers that I thought would pass for wheat but they had lost their price tag. My begging and pleading with both the Asst. Manager and Manager did nothing to sway them, as it is their strict policy to not sell items without price tags.

On Sunday morning, we were rushing to get out the door to mass and it was raining, so I wound up dropping Mr. Quimby and the girls off at the door, parking, and then running in to meet them. I could see them in the vestibule surrounded by St. Claire, St. Lillian, St. Michael the archangel, and assorted others. I couldn't make it through the crowd so I sat in our semi-regular spot but closer to the aisle, so they could see me when they walked in.

I should mention that both Mr. Quimby and I thought we had a snowball's chance in hell of getting them to actually join the procession. A big church? Strange people? BIG KIDS? Ha !!! We certainly wouldn't force them, so I figured one or both of us would wind up walking in with them.

I was SHOCKED (I think my jaw actually dropped) when I saw them LEADING the procession of children. They were walking behind the Deacon and Beezus had her arm around Ramona's shoulder guiding her. They didn't see me as they walked past, so intent was their gaze on the first pew where the children were to go. My heart swelled with pride to see my girls - my 2 year old and my 4 year old girls in the procession. Say what you will about the Catholic church (I've said a lot of it myself) but in that moment I was so happy for them that they were able to participate in the mass in a real and authentic way (or as authentic as you can get dressed up in a pillowcase on All Saints Day as someone who may or may not be a saint).

I hope that this is the beginning of many more processions for them: in the Christmas pageant, as altar servers, as readers or Eucharistic ministers for the "teen" mass. And maybe it's also the very beginning of a tiny nugget in their hearts. (The same sort of little nugget that I got in my heart when I was 8 years old and became an altar server). That they are unique and special and a part of something greater.


Rachel et Natalie said...

how sweet.
pillow cases, that was a great idea!

Ryaanne said...

Things like the procession are how kids develop pride in themselves and their greater community. You have given them both a gift.

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