so happy Easter folkses. i am reminded of growing up in the espicopalian (anglican) church. as i was growing up as the daughter of a military officer, i was instilled with these ideas of strict patriotism and loyalty. and there's the golden rule and one of the ten commandments: do unto others as you would have done unto you (sorry if i didn't get it quite right... you get the idea).
and as a loyal and patriotic six year-old... i wanted to carry the amercian flag in church. the american flag went up the aisle on the left and the american flag was always to the right.
well, as you can imagine... my family was the most rambunctious group of three in the church. my brother was always harassing me... he was one year older and always off the height charts and i had to get really creative to get him to stop. then we were running up and down the outside of the pews exploring the wonderful wall-to-ceiling stained glass windows that decorated our church. who could get there fastest? why, the one that ran over the other first. and you had to be cleva.
then we have my six year-older sister discussing how we were both: "sooooooooo immature".
so. when i went and asked the acolyte director to be an acolyte at age six.... he didn't know how to respond. my parents had done their best to discourage me. i didn't know anything about reading between the lines. if my parents had told me straight up not to do it... i *might* not have.
but. the acolyte director thought it would be very unchurchly to say no. he quickly found out (as he has told me since then), that the best thing to do with rowdy youngsters was to put them up front in the acolyte pews and teach them they had to behave. teach them the bible. all of the sudden, the minimum age for acolytes at our church became six.
by the time we returned from our overseas duty, our church had become the center for the acolyte order of Francis & Claire. They rushed me to the ceremony by the bishop. For whaterver reason, you have to become a canterbury by the time you are 18. It's a distinction for life. I kept putting it off. I asked, "why"? The director said because.
I don't regret this decision. It's just that that period in my life was so confusing to me. I was getting pulled in five hundred directions. I was in engineering school in my second year. Anywhosit.
What does a canterbury acolyte do? He/she has fulfilled all the posts. She/he has served the priest directly in communion. Yup, she's carried the flags and the torches. Her job is to preside over the service and fill in at a moment's notice.
I remember one time that I looked over at one of the youngsters. He had started to cry. Under my breath I tried to discern why. His mommy had disappeared from the pew in the middle of service. I had to rush him off to the bathroom so he could see she was OK.
While we were out there, we asked him if he had to go. We took him into the restroom. We made sure he washed his hands. Then it twas back into the service. All very quietly of course. I gave him a big hug for good measure.
What's my point you ask? It's that family is family. Not blood. Family. I live 3000 miles away from my family in the proper since so I've had to create family here. Home is where the heart is. Happy Easter.