In all honesty I wouldn’t particularly say that I am overly religious, I have some seriously religious family members but Im more of a private individual who doesn’t feel the need to constantly remind others that I am a Christian. In fact, one of my favourite quotes was by a man called Billy Sunday and he said “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.” It is a saying that always stuck with me.
I married into a rather well known Catholic family who are descendants of an old Catholic saint, but this is not something that is widely spoken about but it is something that they take pride in. I quite like the Catholic faith, I like the boundaries and the structures that it gives to its followers but I digress, I promise this is not a diatribe about which faith is best or for whom!
One of our traditions when we are on the farm is attending Midnight Mass, (these days its more 11pm mass but anyway). Over the years that have been a few instances of hilarity that have occurred during these services and one of them stands out. As a Christmas present one year (we open presents on Christmas eve) my MIL gave my FIL a set of lovely ice trays….. they were running short and she decided they would be a good gift. My FIL did not agree with her! He got over it rather quickly, or so we thought! That evening at Midnight Mass the priest was taking about the three wise men bringing Jesus gifts of Frankincense and Mir and from the corner of the pew my FIL, timely chirped, “Jesus can be lucky the three wise men weren’t women otherwise he would have received Ice Trays as gifts instead”. Well the family thought this was all too much and spent the rest of the service trying really hard not to giggle.
Then about 2 years ago we had had a rather raucous evening and those who were rather over served opted out of Midnight Mass and left myself, my MIL and my future SIL to represent the family (one baptized NG Kerk, one Anglican and one Methodist) I wont deny that we had already had a few bottles of wine but we were already to go! Upon arriving at church we sat towards the back and settled in for the service. The priest walked towards the pulpit and asked if he could ask a brave soul to do the reading for him. While everyone started looking at their feet I was the only who was looking around and I heard, “Thank you, Mrs Liguori”, I panicked and looked at my MIL to which she said, “He wasn’t talking to me, honey.” Oh hells bells, this could not end well!
Against my better judgment, I did the reading very well and was later complimented on my eloquence. As I walked back to my seat I made it within 50 cms and I stumbled slightly in my very new, very high heals! Thankfully I managed to right myself with very little fuss but I knew the entire congregation was watching me so I casually looked over my shoulder and pronounced, “And that Ladies, is why one should not wear high heels to church”. I received a good laugh out of the congregation and a few “Hear Hears” from the ladies.
I sat down rather confidently and looked down to see if I had damaged my shoes and to my mortification realized I had my shoes on the wrong way round!!