Rite of Acceptance and Bidding Adieu.

21 Nov

I’ve been waiting for this day for a long, long time.

The first official declaration of my intent to become a full-blown, regular Papist.

Standing in the back of the vestibule, gathered around the baptismal font, I stared down the aisle, and up at Our Lord. I expected to feel overwhelming joy, excitement, or nervousness – but all I felt was an absolute peace. An emptiness. Silence. But not darkness.

I was content.

An entire year that contained almost all of the most dramatic ups and downs of my life, and much more time than that mulling over the possibility that maybe – just maybe – there was something more to this Catholic Church. It was all about to end, in ten or twenty short minutes.

Families entered the sanctuary, little toddlers performed macarena-style Holy Water dances (with utter and complete piety), my dear friend Becca hugged me and promised her prayers, Kimberlie took her place in the church, Eli squeezed my hand, and I simply stood there. Silent.

And in that moment, I found sadness. It was a moment of farewell. I was about to offer the beginning of my yes, and I was shutting the door to my past behind me. I was being accepted and welcomed, but leaving my home behind. I was reminded of when I was packing to leave for college for the very first time. I was excited about what was ahead of me, but I was heartbroken over what I was leaving behind. I knew it wouldn’t ever be the same again. It was a good and necessary thing, but the growing pains were rough. And there, around the holy water, I felt the same thing. I knew that what was coming was good and beautiful and right. But that moment of farewell was painful.

But walking down that aisle, with Kimberlie’s hand on my back, and the welcoming smiles of the Faithful greeting all of us entering that day, I knew that I wasn’t forsaking one for the other. I was simply entering the Fullness of the home I’d found first.

And in that moment? I found joy.

 

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11 Responses to “Rite of Acceptance and Bidding Adieu.”

  1. Betty Beguiles November 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    Wow – this reminds me so much of my own conversion experience almost ten years ago. Beautiful post. And congratulations! I’m so happy for you and Eli both.

  2. Megan November 22, 2010 at 12:00 am #

    Beautiful, beautiful reflection! Congratulations! Easter Vigil will be here before you know it!

  3. Ciska November 22, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    It sounds wonderful!
    Could you please pray for my rite of acceptance? It was supposed to be this coming Sunday, but that’s not going to happen and I don’t know if or when it will. Thanks.

    _
    I’m trying to bring Kate home. Please help me find her family.
    http://thisjourneyofmylife.wordpress.com/category/home-is-where-the-heart-is/kate/

    • The Secret Vatican Spy November 22, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

      Ciska, I lit a candle for you in the chapel today. My prayers are with you.

      • Ciska November 23, 2010 at 2:43 am #

        Thank you. It is decided that I don’t “need” a rite of acceptance because my baptism is recognized. I don’t know how I feel about that. Thanks again for praying.

  4. spilisz08 November 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    So beautiful, thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚ I so wish I could have been there when my husband went through the experience of coming into the Church, but I didn’t meet him until just about a year later.

    Welcome home! πŸ™‚

  5. politicalhousewyf November 23, 2010 at 12:44 am #

    Welcome! πŸ™‚

    Such a beautiful post; I’ll have to point this out to the converts I know.

  6. Thomas from Blatantly Catholic November 23, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Discovered your blog the other day via “Conversion Diary,” and I’m a big fan! I’m looking forward to your future posts.

    I’m a convert myself (Easter Vigil: Class of 2005!). Non-religious home, oneness Pentecostal in high school, fundie-ish evangelical for early college, and now Catholic for good. Many of the references you make to your Protestant past really hit home for me.

    I decided to convert in December, and Easter 2005 was in late March, so I had a mercifully short time in RCIA, and yet it was still so hard waiting to receive the Eucharist. Hang in there. Before you know it, you’ll have been Catholic for years.

  7. priest's wife November 24, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That’s all I have to say

    πŸ™‚

  8. convertingheart November 26, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    I love how you expressed your feelings here! I can totally relate, but any bittersweet feelings vanished last Sunday when I received the Eucharist for the first time beside my daughter. Easter really will be here before you know it, and you will have your new beginning!

  9. Jennifer (Conversion Diary) November 30, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    This is such a beautiful post. It’s nice to live vicariously through you. Our RCIA program was led by amazing, Spirit-filled people…but it was *very* haphazard. If we even went through the Rite of Acceptance, I didn’t know what it was, and I don’t remember it. I definitely didn’t have a sponsor at that point. You’re blessed to be part of such a great program.

    BTW, I recently came across this fascinating article about the history of RCIA: http://www.catacombe.roma.it/en/ricerche/ricerca11.html It was neat to see how similar it was to today.

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