Monday, September 27, 2004

Litany Torture

We went to the cemetery yesterday for the 1 year anniversary of a friend's passing. There were a number of his family and friends gathered round his grave admiring his spanking new tombstone. We then began to say our prayers led by one of our 'senior' Pinay friends. It was allright until we got onto the part when she said - "Let's pray the rosary". I thought - oh no! not the rosary and the litany *here*!! We were all standing half freezing from drizzly cold windy weather and she wants us to say a loooong prayer? Well our late friend's Anglican relatives must not have known what's coming. By the second mystery they must have thought, 'what are these Catholics praying so long for? They can't make him come back from the grave?!' hehehe!

By the third mystery my 3 year old daughter was asking us - 'why does she keep repeating the same thing?' God must be quite irritated with all the repeating chants of prayers we Catholics do. It must be a way of badgering him with whatever we are asking for in the hope that he/she will say - 'Oh allright! You can have it then!'

It brought back a lot of childhood memories of mine when we kids were forced to kneel through a litany of prayers during padasal (prayer party) for someone expired. How I get too twitchy and utterly bored with the drone of "Aba Ginoong Maria nakapupuno ka ng alkansya ..." (Hail Mary). I am often pinupulikat (have pins and needles) from the torturous long time sitting and kneeling. But at least that torture was only once in a while unless there is a bad case of septugenarian expiration club deciding to hold a party in heaven then we would be praying almost every 2-3 weeks. Well the other torture that I dread even more as a child is to have to sit through a Sunday mass. Man, that was really excruciating especially that Father Abueg is known to have a sideline of curing insomnia. I would often slouch on the wooden bench then eventually be down on the ground. Then graduating to sitting on the upholstered luhuran (kneeling plank) after a while I would be lying prone on it looking at the cobwebs underneath the benches and if that doesn't amuse me I would soon be rolling at the back of the feet of the people in the pew in front. By that time my Tita have pinched me already in my singit (what's singit in English?) so I would sit bolt upright on the bench. And I would start the cycle all over again.

But then just when I was about to give in and surrender, I would hear chimes of little bells and a single toll of the big bell and Father Abueg raising that white round thing. Hallelujiah!! I am resurrected from the dead like Lazarus. I am giddly happy for I know that the more interesting songs are coming (which I sing at the top of my voice) and most of all uwian na (time to go home) !! Ahh what a great relief!

I wonder if all this experience is of any use. Perhaps I could apply as a spy for MI5? Best qualification - well experienced in prayer torture, can foil any chants any repetitions at any length of time. Mwe he he he!


Ate Sienna said...

Hi Celia!

Your entries are so entertaining. I had my own flashback of my school days when I used to live at my grand-aunt's house. When during October, we'd all be praying the rosary and I'd be nodding my head because i'd already be so sleepy. And the times, Father Sunga at the church in Palanan would give looooooooooong sermons just because.

I've linked you to my site. Check mo nalang yung "megalinks" ko na page. you're there!

I'll be visiting more soon :)

celia kusinera said...

hi Ate Sienna, thanks for visiting. Kilala na kita sa laging plugging sa iyo ni Batjay. Thanks for linking me and I finally can link you! I'll email you in your blog. cheers!