A few weeks ago I attended a Roman Catholic first communion, namely that of a young relative of Schatz. Me, I’m a Prod and proud, to quote from the song, but I’m more than happy to attend such things, stick some cash in the lad’s Erste Kommunion card and join the family for post-mass buffet lunch (which was delicious).
Before the mass started, I chatted to Schatz’s relative-in-law, her five-year-old daughter, seated between us. R-in-L and I chatted in German. Daughter sat quietly all during the mass.
Eventually we reached the Lord’s Prayer. Everyone else said it in German: Vater unser, etc. I said it in English, my beloved mother tongue, thus:
- Our Father, which art in heaven,
- Hallowed be thy Name;
- Thy kingdom come;
- Thy will be done
- in earth, as it is in heaven:
- Give us this day our daily bread;
- And forgive us our trespasses,
- as we forgive them that trespass against us;
- And lead us not into temptation,
- But deliver us from evil:
- When before the Collect the priest alone recites the prayer, the people here respond: Amen.
- When after all have communicated the people repeat each petition after the priest, the prayer ends:
- For thine is the kingdom,
- the power, and the glory,
- For ever and ever.
Within a few syllables, five-year-old is staring at me, her jaw nearly reaching the ground. Daughter tells Mutti words to the effect:
I can’t understand a word he is saying.
Mutti tells daughter:
He comes from another country.
(Daughter still looks mystified as I flick back into German.)
Have a confusing day, won’t you!