punchy line

...and he (Simon Peter) saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth ... not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. - Jn 20: 6-7
-Jn 20: 6-7

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sacramental Party Faux Pas and Crashers

In my book, partying, done well, is indisputably, and inherently a Catholic invention.  And don't we start 'em young?

I mean, you have a baby and BAM! You, my friend are now obliged to throw the holy-party-three-pack: Baptism, Holy Communion, and the Confirmation, wherein you collect as many religious trinkets as they may need to ward off temptation for the next fifty years! (and if you are Hispanic like myself, it’s required that you to select at least 20 godparents per kid before they’re fully initiated into the Church).

However, at times, one does hesitate, despite their lifetime of prescriptive Catholic partying, to revel publicly in the joys of the Holy Spirit.


I’ll speak for myself: it is the sudden moment, in the midst of all my planning for the glorious occasion, where I face the realization that I am inviting people to my party.

You know, them.  Members of the clan of humanity, whom, statistically speaking are more likely to camp out overnight to catch the premier of Hangover III than courteously rsvp to my child’s rebirth in the Holy Spirit (unless texting me fifteen minutes before the ceremony starts counts as thoughtful, in which case, yeah, they’ll do that).

Anyone else ever have that realization and almost not send the invitations?

So I made a list.  It’s a small list of the some of the biggest sacramental party faux pas and crashers that have almost caused me to avoid a beautiful, supposed-to-be-Christ centered occasion.

I say, almost, because, of course my better, Catholic partying sense has come to my rescue so-far.  We ain’t a ‘quiet ceremony with two witnesses’ kind of Church.  We are a feast day everyday, every sinner in the house and the kitchen sink is invited Church.  Nothing like making a big deal out of a big deal – and we’re kind of good at that. Just re-watch some of the footage from Pope Francis’ installation for proof!

And then these guys show up:

The ‘we aren’t going to the Church, just the reception afterwards’ crowd.

So my child is entering into God’s life of grace? That’s ankle level.  What?! There are margaritas afterwards?! Dude! We will meet you at the restaurant. (um, face palm?).

Baptisms: for some, all it says is: will I miss the big game if I attend?
Never mind the lack of religiosity, how about the lack of class?  Someone went out of their way you think of you, invite you, and yes, pay for your meal and drinks and you show up basically to be fed.  Seems that someone’s life of grace has been pretty neglected lately, wouldn’t you say?  Not mention your treadmill, most likely.

 The “Can I invite my single friend, to meet some of the other singles that will be there?” person

Seriously?  My infant, the fruit of my womb, whom I just squeezed out of my battered, still-went-to-mass-on-Sunday-anyway frame a little while ago, who will become an adopted child of God the Almighty Creator of the Universe, will be center stage and you want to play match-maker on the sidelines?

It also shows: your baby? Faith?  God?  Meh. Not so much.  My moping single friend hitting-it-off with someone: them’s the games I want to watch. 

No.  Just no.

The “We aren’t going to tell you that we’re bringing strangers to your sacramental celebration because, (insert innane reason here).”

I still just don’t get this one.

This may be a religious party, pal, but the food and beverages still don’t multiply themselves, you know.  And is it really so hard just to even text me, even fifteen minutes before the event, that you’re bringing other people?

That and the uninvited guest that comes always sits silently in a corner with a ‘deer in headlights look’ once they realize how out of place they are.  But by all means, invite your own friends to your own party, because, you know, that’s normal.

The “I’m not Catholic so I’m going say really stupid things all night to make myself feel like I’m the cool one” person

I don’t even know why I still invite this person. Maybe charity?  Maybe to meet other singles there that might straighten them out? Doh! I committed my own faux pas.

Bonus: Whoever sits next to them gets to hear all about their estranged relationships, dysfunctional family, medical history, career woes and their latest superficial acquisition – usually a watercraft or kitchen appliance. Because that’s what everyone who celebrates a first Holy Communion or baptism lives to hear about…what your lame life away from the Church consists of.

Is it too much to ask to just not make a sacramental celebration weird?  For this person, yes it is.

Have any crashers or faux pas you want to share? Leave a comment! And by all means, be merciful to these folks, they may need the party more than you do.


  1. What a great idea for a post! I had all of these guests (well, almost, I didn't have anyone bring a single friend) at my first child's baptism. For my second child, I think they realized how out of place they are and didn't bother coming. I don't have any to add, but can you please do more posts on children's sacramental celebrations? Haha! No, seriously. Let's swap details on food served, music played, activities planned, and for the guests, appropriate gift ideas. Actually, why not have a link-up party, that way everyone can post pictures of their latest sacramental party!

    1. Ha ha! Just the photos of our guests behaving badly? That'll shame them into sanctity, right?

  2. Not that I am bitter but...how about the family members who don't show up, telling you since they didn't go to the other cousin/grandchilds/nephews they can't come to your darling's sacrament...

    Great post, Marissa!

    1. Ooooh, why that is a political statement right there! (Or just an excuse to be non-committal) Why not show up at your party with a gift for both your kid and the other one they missed? Or is that too political?

    2. I think if someone doesn't want to be present at an important milestone, they will find a reason. I WISH we had the problems you do in terms of too many guests etc....Thank God our boys have beautiful devoted Godparents...Thank God.