Prayer and attending church services were of utmost importance in our family. Sunday Mass meant girls sitting on one side and boys on the other side. First and second grade sat in the first pew, third and fourth grade sat in the second pew, and so on through eighth grade. After eighth grade, one could sit in the pew with your parents. My parents always had an assigned pew to sit in. They had to pay pew rent every year to sit in their pew. A disadvantage to sitting way up front was the priest could see you very easily. I remember being scolded for resting my head on the pew and looking up at the ceiling when I was in the first grade. Remember, most homilies at this time were at least 30 minutes long.
Receiving communion for the first time was a very special day. My mother always made us the center of attention when it was our special day. We always attended rosary and Benediction on Saturday evenings and sometimes on Wednesday. My dad didn’t always because he had farm work to do. I remember going to Holy Thursday and Good Friday services and then going to school. Easter and Christmas were very special times. After Midnight Mass it meant a big meal at 2:00 in the morning. No matter what age we were, on those special days, we got a few swallows of homemade wine.
At home we would pray the rosary daily on our knees in the dining room. As time went on we were able to sit and pray the rosary. That was welcomed by all.
Daily prayers were said kneeling in the morning and evening. Meal prayers were also never forgotten.
As my mother and dad went on in age, their rosary, meal prayers and daily prayers were of great importance. When my dad’s aneurysm burst, he had a rosary around his neck. My mother passed away after the “Angel of God” was said. Growing up Catholic has helped me to be the person I am today. Thank you, God, for being in my life.
Date of Essay: October 24, 2011