Parson to Person
I had a lot on my mind Christmas Eve. I suppose that I was concerned other former Covenant folks might come out of the woodwork to join the Dukes and the Wrights at our Christmas Eve service. More than that, I wasn’t happy with the message I prepared, I poured over it as the afternoon progressed. There was also the little matter with Dani.
Sarah had forewarned me that Dani had been invited to attend a Christmas Eve Mass at the Catholic Church with Renaldo’s family. She would be asking my permission. I struggled to determine just what it was about the idea that I didn’t like. I was having a tough time being honest with myself about it. I had determined to tell Dani ‘no’ because of the importance of spending Christmas Eve as a family. I framed my argument around the importance of our family traditions on Christmas Eve: church, supper after the service, and then taking a drive to look at Christmas lights. When she finally came to ask me, however, I was caught off guard by her actual request.
“Hey Dad, got a minute?”, she called from the door of my study.
She sat down on the futon and began, “Mom tells me that we’re having supper about 7:30 after the service. I figure that we might be looking at lights until around 10:00 or so if we find some good ones – if it goes much later than that and Abby will be falling asleep in the car.” She continued, “I wonder if just you and I could do something special after that? Late, after all the family stuff.”
“What do you have in mind?” I asked, worried that I knew where this was going.
“You know how I like it when just the two of us go and visit churches when we’re on vacation. It’s kind of ‘our thing’. Well, the Santiagos go to a midnight Mass at St. Boniface. They invited me to come, but, I was wondering if you would go with me?”
“Dani, I don’t know. I’ve never been to a Catholic Mass.” It sounded ridiculous, but I really didn’t know what else to say.
“Well Dad, we had never been to a Pentecostal church before that one last summer, remember?”
“Well, it will be late too. Midnight?” I shrugged.“Come on old man” she smiled. ‘You managed to stay awake when you took me to see ‘Lord of the Rings’ at midnight.”