We usually go to a 10:30 a.m. Mass because it's the only one that our tiny rural parish offers. Today, however, we were invited to a 50th anniversary-of-ordination celebration for a dear friend of ours, so we went to 8:30 a.m. Mass at the parish where he grew up. He was the main celebrant for their Mass this morning, and we always enjoy hearing him teach (he doesn't preach, he teaches...he's a scripture scholar).
We had to wake Olivia up to get her fed and dressed in time for Mass, and when we got there it was PACKED. Luckily, we found a couple of spots right next to my parents who had opted for this Mass because their own parish only offers one at 6:30 a.m. (!) and they were up late last night.
I think I may have mentioned this before, but Olivia? Not always very well behaved at Mass. She's getting better, but we typically have to wrestle her or bribe her with goldfish crackers to keep her quiet and in the pew.
Today? PERFECT ANGEL. And Mass even lasted about 25 minutes longer than normal.
I don't know if it was the presence of Grandma and Grandpa or the earlier time or the fact that she might have still been a wee bit sleepy, but she was SO GOOD. She sat still in Grandpa or Grandma's lap for most of Mass or she stood quietly on the kneeler. She sang when we sang and kept pointing to the stations and telling Grandma and Grandpa, "Jesus!" Because she knows Him, y'all. She points him out whenever we see a crucifix or a stained-glass window.
I'm recounting these things because I need to remember how sweet she is right now. These are some of the things she did today at Mass:
*Sang "Jesuh Lah Bee" (Jesus Loves Me) quietly enough that she was entertaining the people sitting in her immediate vicinity, but not disturbing the rest of the church.
*Sang jibberish during the communal singing times, and not any other time.
*Held her hands out in the prayer position during the "Our Father", to imitate Grandpa, who was holding her and doing the same thing with his hands.
*Folded her hands prayerfully during the Eucharistic Prayer.
*Turned and pointed to the altar when the bells were rung at the elevation.
*Enthusiastically gave the sign of peace to everyone around her.
I am a little overwhelmed at this well behaved little child. I hope that our efforts in teaching her to behave in church week after week are finally bearing fruit.