As some of you may know from my previous posts, I have been a member of my church’s choir for about seven years. This past June marked our summer break, and tomorrow (Monday September 9th) will be the first rehearsal back.
After giving it a lot of thought, I have decided to not return to the choir. Mainly because I cannot stand what my parish has become. There is absolutely no reverence at my church anymore, to the point where I feel like it might as well be a Protestant service. The big issue however, was at the beginning of the year when I entered church and found that my group had put chairs in front of the Tabernacle. Now, I did not try to make a big show of this, so during father’s sermon, I quietly sat down on the floor, because I could not bring myself to sit with my back to Our Lord. One would think that to be common knowledge among all Catholics…
This continued on all year. I have very bad knees, and at one point, there was a spare chair by me so I began sitting there. Well, the next week, one of the members took that chair and also put it in front of the Tabernacle! I know this was done on purpose (not to sound paranoid), because there were already more than enough chairs for all of the members. Also, the “friendships” I had with these people slowly began to diminish, and they began treating me like I was some terrible person. They’d snicker at me, whisper about me (and I know it was about me, because I heard it several times), and started to act like I was a lesser member of the group. I felt so unwanted and alone.
The priests at my church are also not particularly friendly, and another pet peeve of mine is that they do nothing about the congregation showing up to church dressed for a beach party. I began hating attending Mass, and quite frankly, that scared me and I knew I needed to get out. Because I knew that if I stayed, I would eventually stop attending church because of the anger I felt.
When the choir started break for the summer, I knew I needed to try a different church, and so I began attending a parish that has a lot of family history for me. My great grandfather (when he came over from Italy), helped build the church; four generations in my family were also married there. It’s simply lovely. The choir is beautiful and everyone is so reverent and friendly. It seems like a little piece of heaven on earth.
Well, I have decided to not return to my old parish. This is going to be difficult for a variety of reasons. First of all, my mother is having an extremely difficult time accepting this. She told me that she supports my decision, especially because of how rotten things were toward the end, but at the same time, it was her church from the time she was eleven years old. Basically, she won’t come to Mass with me at my new church, because she prefers it at the old one. I feel terrible about this, because she has stopped attending Mass as a result of it. I offered to go to two Masses on Sunday so she could get a chance to go, but she seemed very indecisive when I made this suggestion. She also has a lot of physical ailments, and so getting around is difficult for her at times.
Problem number two…quite simply, I have been in love with the choir director’s son since I was seven years old. That’s a whole other story which I won’t mention here, but let me just say that I know that if I do not return, chances are that I will never see him again. And that hurts me very deeply, even though I never had a chance with him in the first place. If I go back, I truly would be a glutton for punishment in more than one way.
Finally, today I ran into one of the nicer members of the group, and told her about this change. She cried…and it broke my heart. There have been so many good times, and I have met a few great people, but it’s also not enough to make me go through all of that again.
Am I doing the wrong thing? What should I do about my mother? I feel so guilty, in that respect. Also, how do I break the news to my choir director? She really was not one of the people who caused trouble for me, and I know this will crush her when she finds out. What do I say?
My heart really, really hurts. Please pray for me.