Tim joined me again at Stations. I had invited a friend from the morning's Bible study but she had a conflict, something going on at her church. I've invited her to things before but it seems that her personal life revolves around her church, in a disturbingly cultish way.
Just as well, because the night's programme was different: the confirmation class miming the Stations. Everyone hates mimes, right?
The turnout was much, much larger than usual, because of all the parents. It wasn't quite a circus atmosphere, despite the mimes, but some parents moved about, snapping flash photographs. It's a large nave, so their walking around wasn't as distracting as the children themselves who, 'though they acted well, didn't send me into a contemplative mood, certainly.
I brought in some singles for Timmy to light candles in the back. He had asked last time but I hadn't any money. So, we lit two candles before the service and, if he behaved well, two candles afterwards. Admittedly, I've only lit one candle in my life, and that was in Holy Sepulcher church, on Calvary. I mean, no matter what you believe, how can you not light a candle there, in front of this?!
So long as the boy portraying Jesus was strapped to the cross, Timmy was concerned for him. "When's he coming down from there?" he demanded. It made Timmy uncomfortable, so I referred him to the latter Stations directly behind us for the story line. I asked him to point to the bas-relief that depicts Jesus being removed from the cross and laid in the tomb. And he was able to do that. So that gave him some assurance that the "living stations" would catch up to the static story on the wall behind us.
At the end, we heard the bells chime and I allowed him to light two more candles. He wanted very much to blow out some of the other lighted candles, a rather typical impulse at his age, I suppose. But I told him that people wouldn't get their wish if he did that. And he said, transparently, that he didn't want them to get their wish.
They have nice grounds there, so while the parking lot emptied out, we walked the cobblestone path to the front of the old church and through the prayer garden. Along the way, I pointed out and explained a few very simple elements of church architecture to him. We came straight home.