Caitlin O’Rourke on Praying for the Dead

I thought it was really sad and the priests wore black vestments and they had a pretend coffin in front of the altar and I didn’t want to go because Maureen wanted me to come over and play but Aunt Margaret was in her I’m not taking any nonsense kind of mood and Mom would have went but didn’t because Granny was sick and besides its not a holy day of obligation and she didn’t really need to go and she said we could pray for the holy dead if we wanted to but she was going to stay with Granny and help the holy living and she’d go next year because by then Granny would have croaked anyway and she’ll need prayers because Granny is sometimes mean to Mom and asks for cough drops in the middle of the night and sometimes she pees the bed and she watches I Love Lucy all the time which makes Mom mad but I don’t see what’s wrong with it only I like when she watches Beverly Hillbilliles more because that Granny is alot like her and Monsignor Botticelli was the main priest and Fr Florsheim had on a new white cotta with lots of lace that he got from Spain and I don’t know why he didn’t wear his biretta but he just carried it and walked in very solemn and Jimmy Pochowski said it looked like a girlie petticoat when he wore it the first time so I couldn’t believe my eyes because Jimmy Pochowski has joined the altar servers which is something he said he would never do because it is for sissie girlie boys but he was there with his hair combed and Fr Florsheim won’t let them wear sneakers so he had his good shoes on too and they were even shined I couldn’t believe my eyes and he walked in very solemn and I hardly recognized him and I couldn’t believe my eyes and when I told Maureen the next day she didn’t believe me so she asked Jimmy at lunch and he pretended that he was not a server and that he was never there and said he was playing video games with his cousin and that’s because he is a big chicken and scared of what the other boys might think and when I heard it I was so mad that I went over and told him that he was too there at the special Mass to pray for the dead and he shouldn’t lie and say he wasn’t and I said I didn’t care what everyone else thought about him but I thought he looked so nice I could even kiss him and if he was my brother Seamus I would but he just laughed at me so I punched him instead and he said he wouldn’t pray for me if I was dead and Kevin his friend who is a Methodist and I don’t even know why he wants to go to St Bridget’s anyway if he’s a Methodist said that it was stupid praying for the dead and when I told Aunt Margaret she said that the poor boy was an ignoramus and Methodists were just Baptists who could read and I shouldn’t take any notice because the dead people aren’t really dead anyway they’re just alive somewhere else and if Granny dies its not like she’s dead forever but it’s more like she’s gone to another country to live and so why shouldn’t we pray for her just like we do now and she said it so nice that I wished I could remember it when I see that Methodist Kevin again because then I’ll be able to explain it but I will probably forget but it wouldn’t matter because Aunt Margaret said if he died you could pray for his soul anyway as long as he was baptized he would go to Purgatory even if he didn’t believe in it but Fr Florsheim wasn’t sure about that but even if you can’t I’ll bet you can light a candle for somebody like that and that’s what I’m going to do if Kevin dies but I hope he doesn’t.

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