Received into Full Communion

It’s official. I’m Catholic!

I have been trying all day to come up with the words to describe Saturday night’s Easter Vigil Mass. I’m falling short. Of course, it was beautiful. It was amazing. It was wonderful. It was awesome. I can think of many other overly-used words that describe the service, and all are true as these words are all true. But none of them are sufficient. My experience at the Mass Saturday night was indescribable. Truly, I do not think I can put into words what it is like to be baptized, then confirmed, then receive first communion all in one night.

But you know I’m going to try anyway, so here goes.

I laughed. I cried. I got drenched. I got oiled. Twice. It was incredible. Joyous. Emotionally wonderful and exhausting.

There was almost complete darkness. There was a huge fire. There were hundreds of candles. The readings and music were some of the most beautiful I have heard. One woman read an extremely long passage about the Israelites’ escape from Egypt. She sang the whole thing. And this was just in the first hour.

After that is when the big things started for me and my friends.

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(The water was supposed to be heated but something went wrong. So it wasn’t.)

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I can’t quite say what being baptized was like for me. I alternated between fighting back tears and beaming with joy.

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And that was only the beginning.

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I chose Rita as my confirmation name. Saint Rita is the patroness of impossible cases. I chose her for many reasons, not the least of which is that a year ago I would have said it was impossible that I would become Catholic. Ha!

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The best part of the evening was receiving communion with my husband. Walking up to our priest. Receiving the Body of Christ,

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the Blood of Christ,

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and then returning to kneel, pressed side by side with my husband in thanksgiving and praise, was an experience I will never, never forget.

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We are finally home together, in a place of peace and joy, and able to fully worship as a family. What a tremendous blessing.

When the Mass was nearly over, our priest called me in front of everyone to be interviewed about the experience of conversion. I had learned just Saturday morning that this was going to happen. I stood up and told our packed church that I used to be an atheist and explained a little bit of how I came to my desire to become Catholic. I didn’t share the whole experience (the whole story part one, part two, and bonus part three), but I did talk about how my husband lost his voice for six months and that this was one of the events that prompted my search for God and led me home to the Church.

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I was nervous and excited and trembling for most of the evening.

I couldn’t believe it when the Mass was over. It all went by so quickly.

As my husband and my sponsor and I waited in the gathering space in the front of our church for my Mother- and Father-in law, Super Friend and her Super Husband to come out, so many kind people approached me to express congratulations and welcome. Strangers shook my hand and hugged me and told me how happy they were for me.

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It was a celebration with many of those closest to my heart. Guess who that is?? ^^^

Yes, my sister, my Super Friend was of course with me last night.

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The Godmother ^^

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My sponsor is an incredible woman who taught me and inspired me so much.

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^^Some of the other people who shared this experience with me. After meeting many of them, my Mother-in-law commented that she can understand why I have said I will miss our Monday-night meetings.

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^^ My wonderful in-laws made a long trip to be with us.

And the best of all. My heart:

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The best part was sharing it all with my husband.

So may people showed such love and support for me in this process. My family and friends, as well as many of you whom I’ve never even met. Thank you so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

It was an evening of joy and grace beyond words. My heart is full.

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24 thoughts on “Received into Full Communion

  1. What a beautiful post! I stumbled across your blog this morning and I am so glad I did. Welcome to the Church! I am particularly moved by how unifying this was for you and your husband. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Thank you so much Elise. I am amazed by how welcoming and supportive the Catholic community has been. I really appreciate your comment.

  2. My heart is full too, after reading this post. Um… I think my eyes may be as well :). Truly beautiful. You were radiant. Congratulations!

  3. Okay, so I just realized I had the wrong Jen in mind! How fun to see pictures of you two sharing a big day together. Last time I saw her I could tell she was falling in love with the Catholic Church, I suppose now I know why!

  4. Dear Amy,
    With great joy and understanding I read your blog post. You see, I was received back into the Catholic faith during Easter Vigil after 35 plus years as a evangelical. All the words you used to describe your first entry speaks to how I felt to be received back. It was overwhelmingly joyful. How precious is the gift we’ve both been given. Many thanks for your post.

  5. Congratulations my friend! I am so truly happy for you and your family 🙂 I was thinking of you and praying that your acceptance into the church would be a beautiful experience – judging by this post I can offer a hearty AMEN! I look forward to hearing more about your journey in your posts and am so glad I ran into you online. You inspire me 🙂

  6. It was so pleasant and refreshing to read your story and see the pictures. Even if we live on different continents we participated in exactly the same ceremony on the day!

    Welcome to the Catholics! This is a very old church that carries some deep and moving spiritual rituals (that work!), caters for all needs and has believers all over the world. I am aware of critisism our church receives but personally I can tell Jesus works in me through the Holy Spirit and it all started from going to the mass and taking Communion. Then going to the mass and taking communion and WILLING to grow spiritually. This led to praying Rosemary more often and genuinelly praying more often and more personally, then reading the Bible. I personally experience the work God is doing in me while I am (and have always been) Catholic and I wish you experience the same becasue it leads to your prayers being answered, blessings, wisdom and inner peace.
    I will pray for God to bless you and your family.
    NB: Cathlic priests will be happy to talk to you about faith matters and they will also pray for you or give you Scriptual insight into your situation if you approach them.

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