A few years later at the ripe old age of 13 I was confirmed in a ceremony, where my dad warned me beforehand that the Bishop would slap me in the face. Dad thought it was funny. I didn’t, I was properly terrified. Of course no such thing happened. The Bishop touched the side of each of our faces as part of his blessing. I was supposed to be old enough to make a decision on accepting the faith that I was born into, but to tell the truth it was all very pomp and circumstance and I really had no say in the matter. To refute what my father said or instructed would have been considered disrespectful and disobedient and that was simply not permitted. It would have been folly and I would have paid dearly for it.
Dad was a staunch Catholic, it was the late 60’s early 70’s and being a girl who was raised by a man, (The ugly details will reveal themselves in time in this memoir-like series) I was to be loved but controlled
and kept on a short leash and so it was. Suffice it to say that looking back on the church process and the lessons I was fed, there really was a great deal of ceremony. It was strange mystical storytelling, and fear mongering topped with a big dollop of tradition for each spiritual milestone (holy sacrament) reached. The timings were pre-set and were enacted by the congregation members without question. It simply was the way it was. What it was, looking back on it, was a magical mystery tour of ancient religious ceremony mashed up with a great deal of superstition and supported by fear. The whole shebang was doled out by real live earthly authorities who claimed to have a direct line to God. It perpetuated itself with early indoctrination and was intended to last a lifetime, and be passed down to the next generation. Everything was pre-recorded and we were expected to live out the re-run. I think I may have failed this one.