Friday, November 2, 2012

All Saints Day, All Souls Day

Yesterday was All Saints Day and today is All Souls Day.  Here in Italy they are National Holiday.  Norah's preschool is closed.

     I grew up attending a Church of God church.  I never really felt like we had many traditions or ceremonies, I mean we would take communion sometimes and we'd do a foot washing on occasion, but those never felt quite as ceremonious as what I had heard about the Catholic church.  I once went to a Catholic Wedding and they held a Mass; that was pomp and circumstance.  That felt like something important.

     I always felt like we were just a little bit off from the other religions that had ceremony.  They had Altar Boys and special classes.  We didn't have that.  On one hand I liked the relaxed way the church service was, but I longed for the kneelers and special incense.  Which is funny as I was taught that incense burners and lighting candles for the dead were evil.  I was taught a lot of strange things.  Things like playing D & D was evil.  Listening to rock music was evil.  Celebrating Halloween was evil. If you smoked you were a sinner.  If you drank you were a sinner.  If you cursed you were a sinner.  If you wore too much make-up, you were a sinner.  The list was endless.

     I remember being shocked out of my skin the first time I realized that Catholic people could drink a glass of wine and no one looked twice.  I saw a Catholic priest at a base chapel event have a glass of wine in the O-Club...I was literally floored!  You would NEVER see a Church of God preacher even look at a glass of wine without condemnation.

Wow, how did I get here from talking about holidays here in Italy.  Oh, that's right; Italy is a Catholic country  and these Holidays are Catholic Christian Holidays and then my train of thought went to why I don't attend organized religious gatherings. I may get into that on another day; it's long and complicated and I'm not sure it even would make sense to anyone else.

Back to the Holidays, I think it's remarkable that the belief that one's deceased ancestors look over them and bring them gifts is still alive today.  I love that they are preserving a relationship with family members long gone. Long live traditions and ceremonies!


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