“Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.”
It’s a dreary Sunday, a cloudy day with a chill in the air. I followed Gracie outside this morning and noticed red leaves on my oak tree. It was my foliage moment.
My childhood church had an upstairs and a downstairs. The upstairs was the church proper with a main altar and two side altars. The wooden pews were ornate with curly q’s and decorations on the end panels. There was a choir loft with an organ. Only once or twice do I remember a choir singing: at Christmas. Mostly one woman did the singing at weddings and funerals. The sound of the organ filled the church. Above the main altar and along the side walls were stained glass windows. When I’d get bored, I’d look around and read at the bottom of the windows the names of the families who donated them in memory of another member of the family. The only time I saw the side altar used was really early in the darkness of a Christmas morning when I was around ten. Some people used to sit at the ends of the pews. Anyone else looking to sit down in the same pew had to scrunch by them. When it was time to kneel, lots of people perched on the seat, more sitting than kneeling even though their knees were on the padded kneelers. I understood old people doing that but not young people. It just seemed lazy. In those days ushers passed the baskets which were actually woven and had long handles. All the ushers wore suits.
I preferred going downstairs for mass. There was one altar, plain wooden pews, no organ and regular windows. If there was an upstairs and a downstairs mass at the same time, the downstairs one always ended first. That was its draw. When the nuns brought us to church, they always brought us downstairs so it was a familiar place. In the back were racks filled with pamphlets, and I usually took a few. I figured reading them during the mass was okay. It wasn’t as if I’d brought Little Women. I’d do the stand up, sit down and kneel when I was supposed to, but, being a little kid, my mind was often elsewhere. Sometimes I’d go through the hymnal just to have something else to read. I always listened to the sermon though I sometimes didn’t understand all of it. Kids were not the intended audience. I always had a dime for the collection; my father made sure of that.
When the mass was over, I’d run up the stairs and out as fast as I could. My obligation was over, and the rest of the day was mine, except, of course, for Sunday dinner.Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.