squeal

The Confessional

Folder: 
human beings

It's the first Thursday of the month, and I'm standing in line, waiting for the nun to walk us across the schoolyard over to the church to confession. I am in fouth grade.

 

Sister: "Where is your beanie?"

Me: "Sister, I forgot it."

(Truth is, sister, I can't remember any sins to tell the priest today).

 

Sister: "Well, go get one of the extras from the box in the coat room."

Me: "Yes, sister."

(And for sure it's going to be either huge or so small it will fall off my head).

 

We get to church and now we are lined up on either side against the walls of the building. The entire fourth grade, two classes, one class on one side and one class on the other side, waiting our turns to go into the 4x4 pitch black room, where we will tell the priest all of the sins we committed that month.

 

Of course we get scolded at least once by the nun for chit-chatting as we wait in line. The thought goes through our heads, "Now, is that a sin?"

 

It's my turn and I enter the small room and feel about for the wall so I can find the kneeler and wait for the priest to open his little 'window'. In the interim, I can hear his muffled voice talking to the child in the booth on the side opposite to where I am kneeling. I can not hear the words, only a muffled sound that causes me to feel a bit anxious, for what reason, I have no clue. The whole thing is very strange to me every time I used to go, and as the years pass by, I find it even more strange.

 

Finally, the window opens, and light from his small cubicle where he sits shines into the small area where I have been waiting. Thinking about that alone, now an adult, explains the power they have over people for many years.

 

Priest: "Yes, child."

(Oh, thank God---I was wondering what in the hell that kid must have done. It was taking you forever, father.)

 

Me: "Bless me, father, for I have sinned, it has been one month since my last confession. These are my sins:...."

(Oh sh*t, this is the part I hate. What in the hell am I supposed to say? I don't mean to sound full of myself, but Jesus Christ!! I haven't done anything wrong this month!)

 

Priest: "Yes, child, you can speak---tell me your sins."

 

Me: "Um, I took the Lord's name in vain, father---well, not exactly but I thought the Lord's name in vain."

(Yea, just a minute ago--it's your fault too, for making me so damn nervous).

 

Priest: "Yes, child, that is a sin. What else?"

(Oh, man.... I better think of something fast.)

 

Me: "I told a lie, father,"

(Just now... f*ck!)

 

Priest: Yes, lying is not what Jesus wants for you, child. Who did you lie to? Your mother? Your father?

(Whew!! Thanks for saving me on that one, father!)

 

Me: "My father, but I also cursed someone---well, it was in my mind, father---I didn't really say it."

(*Sinister grin* Ok...I got this one...cool.)

 

Priest: "What was the curse word, child?"

(OMG, how embarrassing. Now I have to say the f bomb to a priest.)

 

Me: "Well, father, it was the word .... um...F*CK."

(Oh SH*T!!! I can't believe this! He is making a sinner out of me, and I was pure and holy when I walked in this room today!! God dam* this SOB!)

 

Priest: "Child! Where did you learn this word? Do you know what this word means?"

(Oh no. Now we have to have an interrogation because i'm trying to be honest with this sucker...no way. I 'm not goin' here with him).

 

Me: "I forget where I learned it, father,  I forget what it means. I heard it from an eighth grader waiting for the bus."

(Blame everything on the eighth graders when you're a fourth grader---it works! Now I'm really going to hell, cause that was a big fat lie, but holy sh*t--I can't talk to him about this stuff. The whole building could crumble!! Not only that, he's making this worse and worse, and I'm afraid of the dark to begin with.)

 

Priest: "Is that all child?"

(Is that ALL? You made a freakin' mountain out of molehill, dude!!)

 

Me: "Yes father. Well, give or take a couple more curse words."

 

Priest : "Ok child." (*mumbles some mumbo jumbo for about a 2 minutes while I sit humbly awaiting his absolution*) "For your pennance, you must say 3 Hail Marys and 4 Our Fathers---and God Bless you".

(At least he could have some suckers or a free movie ticket or something---that's all I get?)

 

I leave the confessional and go kneel up at the altar of the church to say my pennance, and while I do all the kids get scolded a few more times for chit-chatting, as we are comparing pennances....of which most often, everyone's is the same thing. 

 

I don't know how I ever made it to where I am today in my spirituality, but apparently, overall, it must have done something good for me. Just very funny to think back on.

 

 

 

12:22 AM 6/30/2013 ©



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Author's Notes/Comments: 

Catholic Confession in the 60s and 70s