I religiously (is that a pun or is that how the word is suppose to be applied) went to church every Sunday as well as once during the school week for the first 14 years of my life. I'm not religious anymore but there are some things that definitely bring me comfort when I think about them.
  1. The Memorization
    The number of prayers I have stored in my brain is really phenomenal. The coolest part is that I never sat down and memorized any of them just the constant repetition in church made them stick.
  2. The Music
    I also have a bunch of these memorized. Good old Catholic Choir music can be really nice to listen to and definitely helped me develop confidence for singing in public.
  3. First Communion
    I don't know if I'll ever wear a wedding dress but I did get to wear a beautiful white dress as an 8 year old that I bought at a wedding dress store. Also no 8 year has ever not looked SUPER CUTE at their first communion and the pictures are so sweet!
  4. Using the "Puter Outer" on Candles After Mass
    My dad was always involved in our church and would help clean up after mass and so I would get to use one of those long candle extinguishers on all the candles in church which was WAY more exciting than it should've been.
  5. Sunday Breakfast
    We always went out to breakfast after church and even though we still do that it's not the same. We would always be slightly dressed up and could talk about what happened at mass. Now my sister and I roll out of bed when our parents call to tell us they're out of church and there is just less ritual to it all.
  6. The Actual Ritual of Mass
    (Good Segway right?) I've often thought about what a catholic mass looks like to an outsider...the standing and sitting and kneeling and responding in almost perfect synchronicity. Whenever I go back to church I feel like I'm in on some secret language of how it all works. It's always nice to know I remember it all.
  7. The Routine
    My family always went to 11 am mass on Sunday, we were always there early, sat in the second row of the left middle section, my dad was usually a Eucharistic minister, and we would always say hi and talk to the same people after church. It was the same every week and though I eventually felt like I out grew it it was probably good to have that weekly routine.