Sunday, December 25, 2005

Catholicissor Sister

There's this church song the choir director of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic parish whips out every Christmas. It goes in between "We are Marching in the Light of God" and "Go Tell It on the Mountain" in the teen choir medley of Songs That Might Be Cool When Sung By A Gospel Choir, But Just Make Us Sound Chlorox-White. It's one of those songs that repeats the same thing over and over, changing one word in each verse to keep you from falling asleep mid-praise. "He came down that we may have love...He came down that we may have love...He came down that we may have love...hallelujah forever more."

So the sopranos at the 7:30 mass last night had to have been preoccupied with sugarplum visions, because the whole section thought they were on the "...that we may have love" verse when the rest of the choir was on the "...that we may have peace" verse.

Turns out, He came down that we may have lice.

I go to church on Christmas to keep my mother company. What was once a non-negotiable weekly outing is now, through the freedom of legal adulthood and a general antipathy toward gross clerical misconduct, a once yearly trip to hear the choir. I was a dutiful choirgirl from third grade through my senior year of high school, so I like to see who's inherited the Christmas Gloria, my personal solo.

I mean, that's the reason I give my mother for going to church with her on Christmas. The real reason is that I have an unquenchable desire to see who among my high school classmates is losing their hair, who appears to have landed a lucrative job, and who grew out of their awkward stage into full blown swanery. (Observed: one kid with a tragically receding hairline, one kid with a nice suit, zero lookers, and one uncategorizable wiener who's grown a ponytail and, according to the church bulletin, got married on Friday.)

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His bitches on earth!

Even though there isn't one thing I agree with that goes on in the Catholic church, from the "Hey, we're hip!" bongos to the unflattering robes to, y'know, the outright bigotry, it's the one thing left to do on Christmas that feels at all Christmasy. Without family to visit or red-suited trespassers to believe in Christmas feels like any other day, albeit a day that includes shrubbery in the living room. I miss the days when my brothers and I were so excited about the presents under the tree we organized midnight meetings via walkie-talkie and crawled on our stomachs, like cadets under barbed wire, past my father snoring on the couch. Going to church is, at least, dependably enraging, dependably frankincensy, and dependably boring, with dependably hard seats. I've spent every other Christmas Eve of my life crammed elbow to elbow with once a year Catholics dolled up in the finery of the marginally saved. Why stop now? Especially when tomorrow morning we'll all sleep until ten, open a couple gifts, and then head back to sleep. Plus, I'm not going to see Ryan-from-11th-grade-English-whom-I-still-love-to-this-day sitting on my ass in my pajamas.

Gloria in excelsis hottie!


Anonymous brad said...

i cover my ears and close my eyes
i still hear your voice, and it's telling me LIES

11:21 PM  

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