As Lent wraps up and Easter approaches, many students return home during the extended break to celebrate the holiday with their family. While Easter does have fun activities surrounding eggs and demonic bunnies, the main star-studded event is Easter mass. College is a busy time and many Notre Dame students, even though it is Notre Dame, have failed to attend mass on a regular basis. This is a how-to list for all you pretending to still be Catholic for your parents’ sanity.
12.) Prepare yourself:
While you are home, make sure you don’t complain about going to mass. You aren’t eight years old getting woken up every Sunday morning to do the same thing anymore. You are a college-aged student who is spending way too much money for a Catholic education. You also cannot overdo this. Make it seem like you are excited for mass, but not too excited, or else your parents will suspect something. Just simply ask them which mass they are planning on attending. This shows interest without blowing your cover.
11.) Look up the readings before you even get to mass:
Another pre-step. Attending mass and sitting down for that first reading after the super long Gloria of Easter mass is equivalent to shotgunning a Four Loko. It’s black out time. For some reason, even if you listen to the readings, it all just goes in one ear and out the other. To show that you are a good Catholic, look up the passages ahead of time so you can participate in further discussions if your parents decide to test you.
10.) The Basics: genuflecting:
Easily forgettable. This is a simple way for your parents to spot if you stopped attending mass.
9.) Sing Loudly:
After all, singing is praying twice. Make sure you know all the words to “Jesus Christ Has Risen Today” to really prove to your parents how dedicated you are to the church. All the ladies in the fancy hats will be so impressed at what a good young Catholic you are.
8.) Surviving the Gloria and Readings:
This one’s long. Because you studied the readings ahead of time, this is your quality “me” time in mass. Feel free to just accept the black out that occurs, but don’t forget to add in some subtle nods to show you are still listening! Just make sure when the readings end, you respond. “Thanks be to God” is said after the first two readings, save your “Praise to your Lord Jesus Christ” is after the gospel. DO NOT CONFUSE THESE. THEY WILL GET YOU.
7.) Alleluia and Gospel:
Follow above advice about singing loudly and adding nods. You should know the Gospel by now, so just relax and stop sweating. Your religion teacher from grade school that is sitting a few pews behind you is eyeing you. Lighten up. Make it seem like you are comfortable.
Only thing that must be done: laugh at the priest’s opening joke. However, once you get the awkward chuckle out of the way, make sure you still pay attention. It’s practically guaranteed that the car ride home will consist of a breakdown of the homily.
5.) Creed and Petitions:
STUDY BOTH THE NICENE CREED AND APOSTLES CREED. DO NOT CRACK AND USE THE PAMPHLET. DO NOT. Who cares about the petitions. Just respond.
Throw some money in the basket. Make sure you sing to Hosannah and Amen but other than that, black out time again. These are prime, precious minutes for some weird thoughts. Are you slightly into Carl Ackermann? In your future life where you take your spouse and new baby to mass and your baby cries, will you be the one to take it to the back of the church? Where is Taio Cruz now?
3.) Do not chug the wine at communion:
That is all.
2.) Do not blow the last ten minutes – sit there and reflect:
Almost there. The end is near. You just have to pass the last ten minutes. Just sit (or kneel until the priest sits down from communion) and smile until the end. Sing your heart out to that closing sound.
1.) Post-Mass “hellos”:
Your mom’s bible study group is mostly at the same mass as you and you have to go up with her and say hello to the ladies who are all judging you based on everything you say and do? Avoid them. When they are all together, they can sniff out a fake Catholic like no other. To avoid talking with them, you will have to settle making small talk with that weird kid who sat behind you in Geometry sophomore year of high school. Oh, goddammit, you were trying to be cool and told him you don’t actually go to mass anymore didn’t you? Your mother and her bible study group overheard you. Run.
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