My folks recently moved from their spacious suburban home to an apartment in a nearby borough. Because they were streamlining their life, they could no longer store my boxes of crap. "Dearest," they inquired, "would you please haul off all this bullshit you've collected over the years?" Of course I obeyed, because I honor my mother and father.

While sifting through boxes of embarrassing photos and scrapbooks, I came across this missal I had received as a gift on my First Holy Communion.

Here I am on that day:


I haven't removed the veil since.

This is clearly a missal meant for youngsters, so that they may be instructed on how Mass works and not suffer an attack of the conniptions when the priest announces that he's about to feed the congregation the body and blood of a human being.

Here's the missal:


Its contents are a rare treat of 1970s sincerity and inadvertent double entendres. I finally figured out how to operate our scanner, so now you get to enjoy it along with me!


"'TAKE AND EAT' says the LORD"? Is the Lord saying it, or that shady character in the vestments?


"Do not fear me, children. I bear snacks. Sacrament-snacks."

2massbegins - Version 2

I won't really show you every single page, but I especially love the beginning, in which we're told that we begin Mass, basically, by feeling terrible about ourselves. Also: it's very important to have sorrow, but we don't have to feel sad, but we have to mean what we say, which is that we feel sorrow? So we feel sorrow but not sad but how does one feel sad without sorrow or no wait the other way sorrow not sad but sorrow DOES NOT COMPUTE [everything overheats]--

2massbegins - Version 3

"I humbly beg your forgiveness for this carpeting, O Lord."

3openingprayer - Version 2

"Behold! A trim man-child brings me The Gospels!"


"He looks taller when he's reading. Or is that simply because I'm farther away now? Perspective is a funny thing. I think that's in Paul's Letter to the Corinthians."


"This is how I read books. But how do I turn the page, children? HOW?!"


Please note that last paragraph:

"Gifts look best when they are gift-wrapped. So, we come to Mass well-dressed. The priest, especially, in his beautiful vestments, is 'gift-wrapped.'"

6eucharist - Version 2

"Who wants to unwrap Father Kevin?… anyone?"


"The body of CHRIST would you kids cheer up? No one's making you stand up here! Okay, I guess your parents are. You got me."

I could go on. I really could. But honestly? I feel a little guilty. And I think I might be going to hell for this. I just hope that I get off easy and maybe spend a few millenia in purgatory, amen. Oh, and in case you're wondering:



"Wait, where are you going? I'm making espresso."