Growing up, Sunday mornings were for church. We went to the 11:00 service because my mom liked to lounge in bed with coffee watching "Sunday Morning" on CBS before having to get ready. It was kind of a bummer, because the late service was mostly older folks and Sunday School classes were small. The cool kids all went to the 8:30 service- the Contemporary Service- but no matter how much my sister Wende and I begged, Mom wouldn't budge on her Sunday morning ritual.
On a rare occasion, however, Wende and I could convince her to let us attend the service with her instead of going to Sunday School. We were smart girls, and timed these pleas at the first Sunday of the month, aka Communion Sunday. The three of us would climb upstairs to the choir loft where my mom always sat, even when she wasn't singing. The best spot was in the pews in front of the organ pipes. There were stained glass windows in the wall that shined down color light, and you could feel the rumbling of the low notes, hear the twinkling of the high notes like bells.
The service would start with a greeting, then we'd sing a few hymns before settling down for the sermon. Wende and I would try to pay attention and that would last maybe a minute before one of us grabbed an offertory envelop and a pencil and either drew a funny picture or wrote a silly note. We'd try to keep our laughter quiet, but it was difficult. Things are funniest when you shouldn't be laughing. I can picture us: heads down and writing furiously, bodies shaking and eyes tearing. I can also picture my mom's Glare of Death at us for embarrassing her in the service. Thankfully, she was with the choir and couldn't do anything about it.
Post-sermon, there was a musical number for the offertory, maybe a hymn to get us on our feet, then... *trumpets*... Communion. Our church allowed anyone to take Communion, so we did. We'd search the tray for the largest chunk of bread (don't worry- I'm shaking my head at this now) and take the fullest plastic cup of grape juice. Then, with the congregation, we'd take the bread, say "Cheers" and click our cups together before drinking our juice. The word "irreverent" comes to mind. Also, I'm not sure we fully understood the meaning of Communion. That said, I'm dying right now, it's so funny, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to wake a kid. The dog is looking at me with concern. Wende and I would then leave the cups in our mouths, put our tongues in them, and stick them out at each other until the service was over.
I'll let you in on a little secret... I saved my Communion cup this past Sunday and stuck my tongue in it. I wish Wende- or anyone with a sense of humor- had been there to join in. It's still just as funny. Jesus, I mean no disrespect.
Listening to: Fathom Blue "Guides EP"