I went to Ash Wednesday services today. For those uninitiated, this is the day Catholics get dirt on their foreheads. It's been oh... twenty years since I last went to a service. I can't really say what actually had me going back after all this time- I guess it's a combination of things, events of the past year catching up, the comfort of ritual, and the sense of community, amongst others. The need to belong, in short. Those who've known me for a long time are no doubt scratching their heads at this, since I've hardly kept quiet my general disdain for religion. But, what can I say? Time has a way of changing you. Don't get me wrong- there's still plenty of things I don't like about religion (all religion, not just one), but I'm starting to see some of the, dare I say it, positive aspects of it. One of the things I've really noticed about church-going recently (since I've come back home, in fact) is my perspective on what's done and said in mass (en masse, also, as it were). Having been gone so long, I have a different point of view on it- I find myself listening more closely to the words, particularly during the sermon, and not just going through the motions (ironic, since I find some comfort in ritual and rote). This was the first time at the 'local' church. Not a bad place- lots of color. One thing going against it though- the Crucifix hanging above the altar? The nails are through the statue's palms, rather than the historically- and physically-accurate wrists. On the other, they rang a little bell during the part of mass when the priest blesses the Host- something the old church stopped years ago. An interesting hour.
So, I went to church, where they stuck dirt on my head, then came home and had fish for dinner. Mom would be so proud.
'Normal' posts will presumably resume on Friday. Or Monday.