‘I forgot to give you something,’ my mum announced when I walked in the door at her house a couple of weeks ago.
Advice? No, mum never forgets to give me advice.
‘Andrew gave me these to give to you for Miss BG,’ she said producing a red velvet box. Inside were the most gorgeous set of Murano glass…rosary beads.
“They’re for when she makes her first Holy Communion,” she said.
‘Ok,’ I said very carefully ‘I’m not sure if she will make it. I know she would look beautiful in a white dress and she would jump at the chance to get dolled up, but…’I trailed off as I popped the beads in my bag.
It was a lovely gesture from a godfather to his goddaughter, and the beads are exquisite. Miss BG loved them when I showed them to her, announcing they were ‘so beautiful’ and promptly wore them as a necklace. I know she would look beautiful and angelic in a white Communion dress, almost as cute as she was when she was baptised.
I hadn’t really planned on bringing the kids up as Catholics.The have both baptised, but that was more a superstitious thing on my part than any desire to join the congregation. The superstitious pagan Irish in me wanted protection for the kids, and the whole blessing, water and anointing by the priest seemed to be just the ticket.
And it’s not that I haven’t made a concerted effort to turn them into little atheists either. When they have stayed with my parents, the kids have attended mass with them. Master BG currently does Religious Instruction at school, in which he asks his teacher ‘if God made everything, did he make vampires and zombies?’
It’s just that after growing up in a fairly observant Catholic household which included the church every Sunday, observance of Lent and the whole Catholic schoolgirl thing (which may seem kinky, but the reality is SO not), I didn’t want that for my children.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the rosary either. I just look at them and remember endless decades being droned, at school, in church as penance after confession and in bed, as a way to fall asleep (it never worked). Which is a shame, as the rosary venerates a woman, a mother and someone who didn’t wear pink.
The funny thing is that my brother is not particularly religious. He does, however, take religion and its rituals seriously. He had quite strong views about my wearing a very non-traditional red dress for my (civil) wedding. And as my daughter’s godfather, he feels responsible for her moral guardianship.
So, the rosary beads are in a safe place for now. If Miss BG wants them for their intended purpose, she is more than welcome to them. Though I couldn’t let her play with them like a piece of jewellery. I realise I’m much more Catholic than I think 🙂