Friday, December 7, 2012

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 20): 3 Feasts in 1 Week!

We went to Mass tonight for the vigil of Immaculate Conception. The priest addressed the common misunderstanding (misconception?) that this feast celebrates Jesus' conception, when in fact it is Mary's conception without original sin. Apparently this feast used to be titled "Mary's Conception by St. Anne". Granted, this is a longer title, but why change it? It's so much more clear!

Speaking of Mass tonight, Peter was excited to hear the Mass parts chanted. "Mommy! So many songs at Mass tonight!"

On Monday, we celebrated the feast of St. Francis Xavier. We explained to our son that we were celebrating Peter Xavier and Francis Xavier today. They both love God and they both help people! That seemed simple enough for him to understand. In the evening, we told him he could pick where he wanted to go to celebrate: library, mall, Wegmans, Grams and Papa's house, or Barnes & Noble. He picked Barnes & Noble.

My parents pretended to be offended. I told them if they would install an escalator in their home, he would be more excited about choosing them. :-)

On Thursday, we celebrated the feast of St. Nicholas. Peter and I bought chocolate santas for his classmates at open gym class, which I viewed as being a fun and nonabrasive way of sharing our faith. I try to do this every year with whomever I'll see on December 6th.

After talking with my husband, I'm less confident that I'm sharing my faith. Apparently, St. Nicholas Day has become a cultural celebration, comparable to Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day. It's just another day to enjoy the holiday season. Not that I'm going to stop my tradition, but it was a bit discouraging to learn.

Truthfully, it also strikes me as a little odd. Not just St. Nicholas, but St. Patrick's or people who love the Ave Maria. If people have no faith and just view these as fun or pretty, that's more understandable. But I have a hard time understanding how Christians who oppose veneration of the saints and Mary justify celebrating feast days or singing the Hail Mary. (I've actually been told, "Well, it's in Latin, so it doesn't matter.") I know we all have our blind spots and irrational things we justify, so I'm not trying to cast stones, I just think it's interesting.

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