I cherished sitting with my grandmother in the church pews. My grandmother dressed elegantly, with a beautiful hat and high heeled shoes. She would sometimes quietly give us a piece of candy when we became restless, since church service was at least two hours. It was also expected that we were to dress lady-like when we went to church. That meant neat hair and no pants for girls.
My grandfather, who also dressed impeccably on Sunday, was a deacon, so he would sit in the front of the church with the other deacons (many of whom he had served with in the navy, decades earlier). The deacons would sit in a cluster of hefty wooden chairs right below the pastor, who preached with traditional Baptist energy and style. They responded to the pastor's sermon by nodding their heads and saying "Well!"
That brings me to the present moment, three decades later. My husband and I attend the Catholic Church, and we live in Silver Spring, Maryland. I’m thinking about the confirmation process that our youngest child is going through.
I still seek that feeling that I attained, while attending church growing up, a feeling that I still long for after regular attendance and participation in church for more than two decades. Maybe I am being too skeptical. I want to have generosity and compassion for all of humanity and not give in the urge to be pessimistic.
By Angeline Bandon-Bibum