Corey Stephan, Ph.D.


Sancta Missa: The Catholic husband and father’s typical Sunday morning experience (Fun Post)

Corey Stephan

I have decided to take a break from my usual serious, long-form blog posts in favor of a playful, short one.

Prepare breakfast for the children. Do not prepare breakfast for yourself. You are supposed to fast. Your stomach growls while you smell the bananas with peanut better.

Tie your bowtie. Dress the children. Your wife groggily dresses herself.

Fiddle sticks. You forgot to shave your face. Untie your bowtie. Shave your face. Retie your bowtie.

The children are either wildly energetic or painfully exhausted with no chance for middle ground. You are only capable of feeling tired.

Either you or your wife loudly says, “Come on, everyone. We cannot be late for Mass.” The one who does not say that thinks to himself or herself, “With how I am feeling this morning, I would not mind sleeping longer, even if it meant being late for Mass,” but he or she actually says aloud, “Of course, dear. We will not be late for Mass.”

Help children go to the potty and brush their teeth. Inevitably, one child has food, milk, urine, and/or toothpaste on his/her clothing at this point, which you must try frantically to wipe clean. If you should fail, then you will have to sprint to redress that child. Time is running short.

Rush into the car. The children cry while buckling the seat belts for their car seats.

Back out of the driveway to realize that you have forgotten something. Stop. Run back inside.

Politely comment that vehicular traffic is less of a problem than on weekdays. (The same thing is true every Sunday morning, which renders the comment useless.)

Arrive at the parish with not quite enough time for everyone to use the restroom, but try to have everyone use the restroom anyway.

Scramble into the pew. The children are surprisingly content.

The children’s contentedness cannot withstand the priest’s tardiness. “Really?,” you think. “This guy rolls out of bad and slips on some robes, and he actually lives right here, but he cannot be bothered to be here on time?” Outwardly, you smile to your spouse while gently working to keep your children calm.

Finally, amidst children squirming, the music begins. You rise, and everyone snaps into something resembling focus.

Now, it is time for an hour of wrangling the little ones.

Have fun with the return drive. Maybe the children will not find some random cause for tears.


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