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.
(The water was supposed to be heated but something went wrong. So it wasn’t.)
I can’t quite say what being baptized was like for me. I alternated between fighting back tears and beaming with joy.
And that was only the beginning.
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!
The best part of the evening was receiving communion with my husband. Walking up to our priest. Receiving the Body of Christ,
the Blood of Christ,
and then returning to kneel, pressed side by side with my husband in thanksgiving and praise, was an experience I will never, never forget.
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.
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.
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.
The Godmother ^^
My sponsor is an incredible woman who taught me and inspired me so much.
^^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.
^^ My wonderful in-laws made a long trip to be with us.
And the best of all. My heart:
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.