Monday, August 25, 2008

PARTY PREPS: THE CHURCH THING

Picking out the church was easy.

St. John Bosco Parish was a stone's throw away from our house. We liked its simple, peaceful ambiance. There was none of the garish, overwhelming religiosity we aren't too fond of.

On the practical side, there was a parking lot near the entrance and no steep stairs. The church wasn't so big either so it wasn't going to be a long walk to the front pews or anywhere we needed to be. It was perfect for our older, arthritic relatives who we knew would want to be there when Oona was baptized at the church font. After all, they've been waiting for this for a long time now. Tradition, tradition.

Waking up early for us non-morning people wouldn't be a problem either as it took all of ten minutes to walk from the house to the church. Squeezing in an extra few minutes of precious sleep on a weekend would be great! It reminded me of childhood grousing when Sunday church was mandatory. Hehe. Tradition, tradition!

Officially on paper, we were only able to have two principal sponsors, one living just around the corner and another who could arrive early for the required seminar on Sunday before the mass. We weren't sure if proxies are allowed.

As per requirements, we had to book two weeks before the Sunday date we wanted (the only day baptisms are done). As luck would have it, the schedule fell on a long weekend (when everyone's supposed to be out of town) so we weren't even sure if all the godparents could come.

I was too chicken to ask if we could add more names to the church list of godparents later on. I'm sorry to say that the lady in the church office was so forbidding and dismissive that I just wanted to pay the fees and get out as fast as I could.

At home, que horror! I found that Church Lady botched the schedule on the receipt by TWO DAYS. I was afraid we'd get kicked out of the church if we showed up and we weren't on the registry. We had to go back to have it fixed, and I had RF talk to her instead. Her kung-fu was no match for my Mr. F!

We didn't add more names to the church list anymore. We agreed that paper is just paper anyway and the more important stuff regarding Oona's platoon of fairy oddparents were already taken care of. They all know what it's about and that was that.

Yes, we'd rather Oona grow up to think and decide for herself what spiritual path she is called to follow.

For now, however, living in a predominantly Catholic society has its downside. Without the required certificates from the required ceremonies to give you an identity, you're prone to run into a lot of legal hassles. Rather than let Oona experience that, RF and I go through the SOP's.

Make no mistake however, our spirituality is just fine.

We believe that all blessings essentially come from a good place. The ceremony in church is given its meaning and its power from the people surrounding us, regardless of creed, predilection or physical proximity, to mark our child with blessings from their hearts.

And thus, may I not be struck by lightning with this posting.

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