I had to laugh out loud when a reader sent me an email (KIDS IN CHURCH, which I'll share with you below). It's funny, but it also reminded me of a time when I was young an aspiring altar boy at St. Mary of the Assumption church in Coaldale.
While the good sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary were teaching us the proper way to serve God as altar boys, they were also teaching us Latin, so that we all knew the proper responses to make at various periods of the Mass. Come to think of it, the nuns weren't exactly teaching us Latin (because we never were taught the meanings of the Latin phrases), they were only making sure we always delivered the right response at the right time.
Each of us had our own way of coping with the Latin language. Some just mumbled under their breath because they couldn't remember the proper phases. I always tried to think of an English phase that closely resembled the Latin I was instructed to say.
One particular phase has stuck in my mind all these years, a response from a 40-Hours procession, that sounded something like this "Oh, wrap your nose up". Of course, that's not what the Latin phrase meant, but as a 9-year-old that's what it sure sounded like to me.
I'm happy to report that kids haven't changed. Mass is no longer delivered in Latin, which must be a joy to this generation of altar boys and girls (they didn't have altar girls when I was young), but youngsters still can come up with their own interpretations of how a prayer should be delivered.
For instance, here's some examples of KIDS IN CHURCH:
'Our Father, Who does art in heaven,
Harold is His name.
A little boy was overheard praying:
'Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it.
I'm having a real good time like I am.'
After the christening of his baby brother in church,
Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car.
His father asked him three times what was wrong.
Finally, the boy replied,
'That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home,
and I wanted to stay with you guys.'
One particular four-year-old prayed,
'And forgive us our trash baskets
as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.'
A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they
were on the way to church service,
'And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?'
One bright little girl replied,
'Because people are sleeping.'
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin 5, and Ryan 3.
The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake.
Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson.
'If Jesus were sitting here, He would say,
'Let my brother have the first pancake, I can wait.'
Kevin turned to his younger brother and said,
' Ryan, you be Jesus!'
A father was at the beach with his children
when the four-year-old son ran up to him,
grabbed his hand, and led him to the shore
where a seagull lay dead in the sand.
'Daddy, what happened to him?' the son asked.
'He died and went to Heaven,' the Dad replied.
The boy thought a moment and then said,
'Did God throw him back down?'
A wife invited some people to dinner.
At the table, she turned to their six-year-old daughter and said,
'Would you like to say the blessing?'
'I wouldn't know what to say,' the girl replied.
'Just say what you hear Mommy say,' the wife answered.
The daughter bowed her head and said,
'Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner ?'