This week-end, we'll celebrate 2 events in the life of my nephew. He will take his First Communion on Saturday, and on Sunday, he turns 8. For more on his First Communion, see this blog post on my theology blog.
Both events will be huge, in their own way. My nephew is Catholic, so the First Communion worship service will be big. The church is big in terms of worshipping members, and he will not be the only child celebrating First Communion. Lutherans don't imbue the First Communion with the kind of serious celebration that Catholics do; in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if in many Lutheran churches, the event passes without much notice.
That will not be the case on Saturday. We will go to Mass in the late morning and then go to a luncheon. I imagine that many of us will hang out together all afternoon and into the evening.
And then on Sunday, it's time for a different kind of birthday party. We will go to Chuck E Cheese. My friends and colleagues who have children say, "I don't envy you." My friends and colleagues who don't have children say, "It sounds like fun."
I'm not sure how I've gotten through my 48 years without ever going to a Chuck E Cheese birthday party for a youngster. After all, I've known plenty of people, been friends with lots of people, who have children.
But if you don't have children of your own, you often don't get certain invitations. After Sunday, perhaps I'll know the reason why.
I'm looking forward to this week-end, with it's different kinds of celebrations. Will I see the sacred in the secular? Will I see elements of the secular in the sacred? I suspect I will--that's the kind of brain I have.
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