Holy Saturday / Easter Vigil, 2016: Successfully made entry into the Catholic Church. Notes follow.
First confession: after days of anticipatory terror, was somewhat anticlimactic, mainly because I managed to royally screw it up. I had labored on a list of sins so that I wouldn’t forget anything — and managed, somehow, to forget the list. So I only had about four things to confess, and I forgot some fairly major ones. So I’ll be going back fairly soon to tidy that up, although it is comforting to know that I can make such a huge mess of something, and it still counts, because its effectiveness has nothing to do with my efforts. Thankfully!
Easter Vigil: the original plan was for the four-year-old to stay home in the afternoon and take a nap, so that she would be able to make it through the Vigil. Alternatively, she could go to the Easter egg hunt at the Methodist church, and stay up all afternoon. We went with the latter option.
We had our showers before we left for church, and I cut the time too close, so I forgot to put on nice earrings and change necklaces. And I was nearly out of gas, so I was standing there at the pump shivering in my stockings and summery dress, pumping as fast as I could so we wouldn’t be late.
I realized that I had left my to-do notebook at another church on Friday night during Stations of the Cross, so we had to scramble to find another notebook for my daughter to color in. She ended up with multiple notebooks and workbooks and pens, which she scattered all over three separate pews as she climbed around throughout the Mass.
In general, I was too terrified about getting up in front of people and messing things up to really pay attention to what was going on; fortunately, I think the pastor uses the same homily every year. And I can go back through and read everything in my missalette. I basically just sat/stood/knelt there and tried to keep from shaking while trying to keep my daughter quiet and not miss my cues.
First communion: again, so terrified about missing cues, and the assembling of the candidates up at the altar was a mess, so more trying not to knock into people than focusing on the Eucharist.
All in all, the take-away was that despite all of our efforts, we managed to mess up a bunch of pretty simple stuff. But that didn’t matter, because none of what we received was anything we earned. God pours out the graces from the generosity of His nature, not because of anything we’ve done to earn it.
Also: priests have WAY too much fun slinging holy water onto people with that aspergillum thing.