I actually missed Church this past weekend. Not because I suddenly started believing in God again but because I missed the rituals that made up such a large part of my Catholic youth. Easter consisted of more church than any other season and truth be told, I loved it. I was fervently religious as a child and I now realize that I was trying desperately to receive some kind of sign. When I kissed that old wooden cross at the front of the church on the "day Jesus died" I imagined as hard as I could what it must have been like to die under the hot sun and above the jeering crowds. I cried for Jesus and sent him messages of love and thanks with all my little heart. When it came time to have our feet washed I tried not to feel the tickle of the old priest's gnarly hands and imagined it was Jesus himself cleansing me of my sins. On Palm Sunday I waited anxiously for the part when the Holy water would be sprinkled across my row and felt renewed and freed as soon as the tiny droplets hit my skin. Easter was the greatest day of the year as I rejoiced that Jesus had risen and given me chocolate.
I actually thought about going to Sunday mass last week, just to relive it all again. To me this does nothing but illustrate the incredible power of ritual and tradition. There is a reason the Catholic church uses so many ritualistic elements in its services and why its been around so long...if you do anything for long enough its bound to seem normal. And not so completely crazy.