Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, California, October 31, 2010
This was a strange Halloween, in that I attended a baptism in the morning and handed out candy to trick-or-treaters in the evening. Yesterday I learned from the church lady that Halloween and the Catholic church do not mix. Witchcraft is satanic, sayeth the church lady, and Halloween is all about witchcraft.
All I know is that I like Halloween.
I like hanging my big furry spider onto my Christmas lights over my jack-o-lanterns next to my plastic skeleton under the pirates hat on my front porch.
I also kinda liked being in church this morning, a place I haven’t visited regularly since 3rd grade. And if you have to go to church, it might as well be Grace Cathedral. The pungent smell of incense burning, I wanted more, and the haunting sound of the organ, so loud to fill that huge space and all our ears and hearts. The chorus dressed all in white, gathered high up on the balcony, singing sweetly. All those people lining up for a chunk of bread. There must be something to it.
And get this. My niece, Eva, who was baptized today, wore a gown that has been in her mother’s mother’s family since 1892. It has been worn by at least 50 of her predecessors, including my fiance, Marty, 45 years ago, and his siblings, and cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents, here and in Germany. The dress has gone back and forth “across the pond” several times over the years. It is white and long and flowing and handmade and simple and lovely and pristine.
Is that cool, or what?
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