Monday, November 05, 2007

losin' my religion

It's a little intimidating writing about topics like politics or religion.
I don't ever want to offend or piss off any of the people who might be reading my blog.
But I gotta keep it real right?
so today's sermon is all about what religion means to me.
I'm a bit of a recovering catholic.
Spent my childhood going to church at least once a week sometimes even twice.
(went to a catholic grade school) my parents were both taught by nuns and priests.
My brother was an alter boy.
I fooled around with several alter boys.
you know what they say about catholic school girls ;
Eventually I convinced my parents to let me go to a public High school. whew.
One of the first classes I enrolled in was a world religions class.
Our big project for the year was to attend ten different "types" of services throughout the semester and choose one, and write an essay about that particular religion, and have a guest speaker come in to talk to the class.
Loved it and it was one of the few classes that I actually got a really good grade in.
One girl even got a Wicca priestess to come into the class and talk about paganism.
For me church was always something that felt forced upon me.
all that standing, kneeling, sitting repeat a dozen or so more times.
It was always chaos trying to get ready on a Sunday in time and dressed appropriately.
I often felt like falling asleep and had no idea what the prayers were all about.
I dreaded going to confession. Sitting in a scary dark closet like room talking to a man behind a curtain thinking up "sins" seemed ludicrous to me.
not to mention just plain creepy.
by the time mass was over I was starving- as we "fasted" before hand each week.
What can I say my parents did what they knew growing up.
Eventually we stopped going as teenagers.
save for the holidays.
fast forward twenty years.
Haven't been to church aside from travelling to look at cathedrals and the odd wedding.
Married to a Jewish man.
when it comes to religion I'm not really sure where I fit in anymore.
I love celebrating all the Jewish holidays and I often get more enthusiastic about them than Big daddy does.
I just identify with the sense of ritual and tradition.
I've been to synagogue a couple of times.
It was interesting but not for me.
I chose not to convert.
So where does this leave me?
Do we need to "belong" to a religious group in order to be spiritual?
I don't think so.
But it is kind of nice.
So when a friend of mine (hi c) was singing a solo in a United Church Choir on Sunday I decided to go.
I took Lulu with me as Big Daddy was away for the weekend.
I have to say it was such a lovely experience.
The singing was beautiful.
Lulu was fascinated and was well behaved and sat listening quietly.
It was peaceful looking at the sunlight streaming in through the stained glass.
The sermon was interesting and relevant.
Overall a really nice way to spend a Sunday morning.
I may not go every Sunday, but I'll definitely go back again (especially to hear my friend C sing...what a beautiful voice!!)
It's probably good for Lulu to experience all kinds of worship.
We have friends that are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist and atheist.
Mormon- not so much. No offense.
I'm so happy that we can all sit together and share our ideas and beliefs.
how lucky am I that I live in a country where this is not only possible but common practice?



amanda said...

Great post. Also a recovering catholic... or something like that.

I knew a girl in college that was raised catholic but her parents were very liberal. They had specific nights in thier house (don't remember if it was once a week or month) where they had a different type of food for dinner(specific to a certain region/culture/religion... you get the idea). Sometimes they'd dress up, play music from the region, whatever. It was a huge learning experience for everyone and their parents really got into it. Anyway, she always told us about how much she appreciated learning about religions and cultures from her parents. What a way to raise a child. Seriously, especially in a world/country where so many kids learn to reject other religions/cultures from their parents. Ok, so I'll step down from my soapbox. haha!

Mac and Cheese said...

Really great post. Although I am Jewish, I was raised with a fair bit of Christian tradition in my life, so I feel like a bit of a mix. I'm not bothered about not belonging though. I attend synagogue when I have to, but it has yet to be meaningful to me. Maybe one day.

Lisa b said...

that world religions course is one of the best courses in highschool if taught by the right person.
my teacher was ace tool but it was a catholic school and he was gay (not out at the time) and was driven out of the school eventually.
Some people I know keep in touch with him still.

I got married in the Catholic church and baptised my older girl (not the little one yet). I am surprised, and impressed, at the amount of ecumenical discussion that has been taking place.

cheryl said...

I have also enjoyed this post. Our small family of three is all about diversity -- different races, different languages, and different religions as well. My son is only 2 1/2; but so far, he seems to enjoy the best of whatever we offer him. We also know that at some point he will make his own choices.

Gabriella said...

Catholic yes, churchgoing now. We couldn't marry in a Catholic church as Joe was divorced, but we didn't really care, we did baptize Samantha but haven't been back to church since then other than for weddings. I believe in a higher being but am not limited to Catholic beliefs only, pretty much open to learning about all types of religion. I believe they all have something to offer and in the end boil down to the same theories...

Laural Dawn said...

Great post - and not offensive at all.
I feel similar.
We go to church sometimes, but less and less because I don't feel I fit in. But, my son loves going, and asks to go, so we do.
At 9am on Sundays. Ouch.
It was a little forced on me when I was young, so I want him to enjoy the experience and choose it as opposed to going just cause that's what you do.

crazymumma said...

Interesting post. We are a pretty non religious family. Well spirtiual, but no defined religion. To describe myself it would be flaky universe goddess earth stuff. But several years ago bigirl was taken by the idea of a God and a Jesus. So we did what any good parent would do. We bought her books.

it faded, her interest, but for awhile we learned quite alot thru her.

But there are few things more beautiful than the sound of a voice lifted in church.

Naomi (Urban Mummy) said...

Religion is often a touchy issue. Personally, I love learning about other people's religions and cultures. And I like sharing them.

one of my favourite childhood memories involves decorating a christmas tree - not ours. I know it's not religious per se, but cultural.

My parents were pretty hypocritical about religion (still are, actually), but I've tried to find my own place. Its not easy.