BERNADETTE CYNTHIA HEALY
Mass was never something I felt very strongly about; how can one hour of your life sitting next to someone you don't know, while listening to someone tell you the same stories you've heard all your life, be beneficial to you, your faith or even society? I didn't even want to get married in a church, I much preferred the idea of a registry office, but Jonathon and my parents were adamant we were going to do it properly.
I remember being surprised by Jonathon's determination, and although I fought against him for quite a few weeks, I eventually caved when I realised he truly believed in getting married in a church. He'd never once shown that he was deeply religious, and I don't suppose he was, but he had a certain faith that I lacked. But our religious differences made us who we were, and we didn't crow about who was right or wrong. We let the differences slide, and though church was never a great part of our lives we abided by tradition and baptised our children, letting them make the decision as to how much they wanted to be involved in their faith.
The pastor or reverend (I can never remember) gesticulates on, but he isn't talking in words that I don't understand. Everything he says makes sense, and I appreciate his intense ability to make his audience listen. He's a young black man, probably no more than thirty, if he's even that. I don't know why I'm surprised. I shouldn't have expected a crusty old priest who could barely be heard.
Father Thomas is engaging and interesting and it makes me think he'd have been a good lawyer. I smile inwardly, hoping not to offend anyone sitting closest enough to me to see my amusement. Jonathon, despite or maybe in spite of his religious tendencies, used to laugh and say that lawyers and priests were cut from the same cloth, which used to aggravate everyone we knew.
Lawyers have always had such a terrible reputation, but I only wanted to help those who cannot help themselves. I wanted to be a voice for those too afraid to speak up. I suppose in that respect, priests and some lawyers are not too dissimilar.
I do not go up for communion with the rest of the congregation. I do not feel it would show respect, and I certainly don't feel good enough to accept the body and blood of Christ. Communion, even as a little girl, seemed so farcical to me. I know it is supposed to have great meaning and should be of great significance, but the horrid, dry wafer and wine that almost tastes like vinegar shared with everyone? I'd rather we all held hands and prayed for each other's souls.
But it does mean that mass is coming to an end.