Friday, October 11, 2013

There Is But One Direction To The Communion Rail

Life is difficult when you live in a parish where the parents are completely out of touch with the latest trends in music. Imagine that your wee little one wanted to attend the upcoming One Direction performance, and the feckin' eejits who scheduled the First Communion never thought to verify that the date they selected was open, and not the night of a rare One Direction concert?

A few modern, up-to-date parents in Limerick managed to win their youngsters' love by purchasing tickets to swoon over One Direction as the boy band winds through its latest tour. It's not as if the adults could control which gig of the three available they would buy, given the demand. When your screaming daughter threatens to hate you forever if you don't take her, you'll go with whatever you can get and be happy.

It turns out that those few lucky adults were so unfortunate as to create a scheduling conflict with their act of parental indulgence. One Direction is playing on the same day as the local parish slotted the First Communion celebration. The winners with the tickets thought it would be a simple matter of the church changing its plans, to give them enough time to get to Dublin and find a place to park, buy the requisite souvenirs, and find their seats before the first notes were sounded. The unlucky majority, made up largely of those who despise the boy band, or those who were failed to make the cut before the tickets sold out, refused to go along with the proposal to have First Communion on another, non-One Direction, day.

Such is the hardship endured by those who live in the west of Ireland, a sleepy backwater stuck in a time warp. Dublin and Cork parishes had sense enough to schedule the communion celebration in keeping with One Direction's tour dates. Those parents had no worries about conflicts, or attempts to sway their neighbors into voting to change the communion date.

Boy bands, and all the pubescent sexuality they exude, are not in keeping with the morals of the conservative Catholic faithful who would never think of doing anything that smacks of rebellion against the Church. Once the priest said what day the parish would stage the sacrament, that was it. You don't go around telling the clergy that the day doesn't work for you because your daughter will die if she doesn't get to watch five boys prance about on stage for an hour. That's disrespect, that is.

The ticket-holding parents are left with a dilemma. They can either skip a very important day in a child's Catholic life, or they can make the child a fervent atheist by forcing her to attend Mass while One Direction croons in Croke Park. Given that level of trauma, the poor child will probably never wear white again.

Those facing such an impossible choice have their recalcitrant neighbors to thank, and you can bet that they will neither forgive nor forget. Life will be very unpleasant at Gaelscoil an Raithin for a long, long time. Or at least until One Direction fades from view, like every other boy band before it.

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