Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Power and the Glory

Went to a multi-denominational church service on Easter Sunday. We all (seven kids, six adults) walked in late to the old wooden church to discover a performance underway.
I was raised Catholic so am not quite sure about what goes on in what Dad calls 'Happy Clappy' churches. Most Catholics, in my experience, aren't that interested in converting others to the word. Being Catholic is a burden, a misfortune of birth and your lot in life - your cross to bear so to speak. Catholics go to church on Sunday, mumble along with the ritual, awkwardly shake hands at the "peace be with you"s, shuffle up for communion then go home for Sunday lunch; duty done for the week. Being Catholic entails the sort of crazy pride that people have for jobs that involve lots of hard work for little financial reward.
A passionate and pretty young woman was performing a solo dramatisation of Mary Magdalene discovering the risen lord's empty tomb. She really loved Jesus...quite a lot.
She continually moaned and groaned, rubbing her hands down over her belly and pulling at the fabric of her dress stretched taught and smooth over her thighs.

'Can you imagine the pain of not being able to touch him?' she screamed.

'Funny.' heckled the Noodle and earned himself a glare from Ms Magdalene before his mother dragged him out.

The rest of the congregation were ageing, weather beaten sons and daughters of the Yorke Peninsula soil. Descendants of farming stock with sand and salt bush in their veins. What they made of this performance I couldn't say, but the old fellows certainly clapped enthusiastically at the end. Mary took a bow and swept away in her scarlet dress. Later I suggested she'd picked it for the colour, you know, because MM was a scarlet woman. Someone else suggested it was a bridesmaids dress. Who's to say.

Communion time, we were made to circle round the alter, which was fine, have our host and cordial, again fine. Then the minister grabbed the arms of the first two people and joined them together, then the next and so on. I could see where it was going. Soon we were all holding hands and singing, then the minister started swinging her arms and everyone else followed suit. So there I was holding a calloused hand of one bloke in my right and the talc scented hand of his wife in my left, swinging and singing and praying for release while Knickers and the Noodle ran around outside in the warm sun.

I consider that my duty discharged until at least Christmas.



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