Hi, my name is Bruce and today I visited my first Mass:extrahappy: And better yet it was an Easter Mass. I attended a local Parish located in the heart of Wilmington, DE called “Saint Anthony of Padua”. The Priest is Father John F. McGliney.
Wow, where to start. First it’s been on my heart to attend a Catholic Mass for the longest time. My interest surprisingly started when an agnostic friend came to be with all these sources that was bias towards Christianity. I watched the videos he presented me and the sources themselves were and seemed so bias and not reliable and it led me to research Christianity for myself. During this stage my faith was shaken being as though my life was so twisted and weird considering I work a job that requires me to work every weekend. So church in general was hard. And I really didn’t have a good ground or home for my faith in general. So that was Satan opening to target my faith. I got shaken up and decided to research. It started with how history dates itself way back to Judah and then worked its way to Jesus Christ and then I continued my search and noticed that the Church was put in the hands of the Apostles (St. Peter and St. Paul) and as I made progress I read in amazement how these Apostles manage to preserve Tradition for centuries. I then began to notice that the Catholic Church was in the mixture of this progression. I always thought the Bible fell out the sky (figuratively speaking) and that’s how we got Sacred Scriptures. I never knew it was the Catholic Church that created the Canon to counter the heresies that were being brought forward after Jesus Christ’s death.
I traced the Traditions (baptism, Eucharist, etc.) which were being practiced and that Scripture wasn’t even thought about until the 1500’s. That’s when we encountered the Protestant Reformation. Man’s pride went against the Church. She was attacked vigorously by men who wanted change. Which I could understand considering Sin is visible in every human being but what the change they wanted has led to many different interpretations of Scriptures and has really shaken up any chance of an unbeliever to come to Christ because there are over 15,000 or more interpretations of Scripture that you can’t even tell who is true. But I do know and its historically proven that the Catholic (Universal) Church was there sense the beginning and has been withstanding every single attack that She faces. Some of Protestants of today’s world really don’t know nothing about the Reformation. I was surprised after my research that when I would talk of the Reformation, people would say “Martin who? Or Calvin who? What he do? What happened in the 1500’s? That’s not true”. I’m like wow its proven through history!!:eek:
I grew up Protestant however. In the Pentecostal denomination. Got baptized at the age of 14. Didn’t know anything of my belief. But that Jesus loves you and you should keep praising and worshiping and then you will feel the Holy Spirit take over your body and you will be speaking in tongues. That’s a sign that your saved. Because I just couldn’t understand what I was believing. That stuck with me many years of my life until recently. I have been searching for the Truth and I believe the Truth has grasped me and not letting me go at all.
The Parish I attended today is huge and very historical at that. Before I approached the doors there was a statue and a fountain of St. Anthony. While approaching the Parish my heart was just jumping & pounding with excitement. My friend, who is a practicing Catholic went with me for guidance. I appreciate him really. He doesn’t really attend Mass as often as he would want to but he felt so alive being at the Mass today that I think I created a spark. But as I walked into the Parish I looked immediately ahead and saw a statue of Jesus so wonderful crafted and looked up at the ceiling at the artwork. It was like being in a true Church. Tradition at that. I seen various artwork of Saints, sculptures of other Saints. I even seen Mother Mary up front near the Priest. I sat real close up near the altar in the pew. We were the first ones there. I felt uncomfortable because I was the only biracial (mother-African American/father- Caucasian). But I still felt at home because it was Jesus and the member’s friendly embrace that captured my interest.
The “altar children” that’s what my friend calls them. Came out to light the candles and then a lady got up and started singing hymns. Then Father John proceeded down the aisle and got sat in the chair. During the hymns I couldn’t help my focus my attention on Jesus. It’s such a different perspective when you’re looking at Christ from the Catholic perspective. It’s like you’re getting the whole communion with Christ and not partial. It was actually pretty funny because when Father John got up to talk about full communion with Christ the sun would shine through the Parish’s glass windows and would shine on everyone. It was so cloudy in the morning before I went to Church and we were expecting rain (70% chance). And today turned out to be sunny and beautiful lol
But pretty much I expected a lot what I researched for the Mass. A lot of kneeling, standing and sitting. Which isn’t really a problem with me considering its tradition anyway. I got really excited when we got to the part about greeting someone near to you and telling them “Peace be unto you”. I greeted everyone around me and everyone was happy and excited I was like “THIS IS WHAT I WANT! FAMILY ORIENTED TRADITION HOLY ONE CHURCH!”
I loved everything about the Easter Mass. I wish I had enough energy to attend the Easter Vigil last night but I was so tired. I will next year though. I was way too shy and didn’t know what to expect today.
Holy Communion was next and I stood at the pew while everyone received partake with the Eucharist. It was nice watching everyone partake and even noticed a few people worked with was there also!