On my sixth anniversary of becoming a Catholic, I had the honor of singing Psalm 16 as a cantor at Easter Vigil Mass. I could list a thousand and one reasons why I'm so grateful for "coming home" after growing up in the hinderlands of Christianity. Here are my top 5, just from Easter Vigil 2008:
1) Watching my priest, hoarse from giving advice & absolution for over 12 hours of confession during Holy Week, say "I'm not in any condition to rasp out a homily this night. I don't think that I need to say one anyway. HE IS RISEN! That is enough, that is everything." (Such a contrast to my years as a Protestant when every preacher used Easter Service to show off their rhetorical skills to a packed house and cram a year's worth of advice into one sermon).
2) Hearing my priest switch to French during the Baptism ceremony. "I didn't know Father Brennan spoke French?" I whispered to my fellow choir member. Turns out that, in addition to becoming more fluent in Spanish, Father took several French study abroad trips in the past three years in order to better serve the new African immigrants (from French speaking countries) who have recently flooded into our parish.
3) Watching the rings get blessed from a couple in Togo who just joined the church. (The understanding of the sacrament of marriage is so holy and unique to the Catholic church.)
4)Watching the newbies take their first communion.
5) Renewing my baptismal vows for a sixth time to renounce the "glamor of evil" then taking the Eucharist with it's multiple graces to make that vow a reality.