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Your Definitive Guide To Getting Through Christmas Mass - 2018 Edition

Easily the worst hour of my entire year is Christmas Eve Mass. Brutal. I love Jesus and I love Christmas but goodness gracious the Catholic Church really dropped the ball on Christmas Mass. Such a freakin production. You got the kids dressed up as Mary and Joseph and Wise Men and shit. Doing the whole pageant which adds another 45 minutes. The choir sings the extended versions of every hymn. 4 or 5 verses per song. The place is packed to the fucking brim. Got bodies hanging from the rafters at Christmas Mass. And then to top it off, they straight up poison gas the whole room with incense. I’m just inhaling stinky smoke with 500 other people who haven’t been to Church since Easter. Disaster. As a young man growing up I could have used a quick guide to help me through this ordeal, so every Christmas I post this top 5 to help you through it all. Christmas never changes and its the same boring shit so this list is timeless as well..

1. Not Knowing When To Sit, Stand Or Kneel- This is the most basic problem for anybody who only goes twice a year. Its like a goddam dance routine for an hour straight. Up down, up down, kneel, up, down. Disaster. Especially at Christmas because the majority of the whole congregation doesn’t know, so they are looking around to follow everyone elses lead. Its like the Blind leading the Blind and everyone ends up bent over, half sitting, half standing, in some sort of limbo. Much like the afterlife that awaits us all. Solution: Find the oldest old lady in the joint, and follow her lead. The older the better. Old people go to church like 10 times a week and when they were kids it was still in Latin and shit. They know the whole process better than the priest himself. Sit, Stand, and Kneel with her and you’re good to go.

2. Not Knowing Any Of The Prayers- Problem 1.A. for bad parishioners. Most of us know our Our Father and our Hail Marys. But like, the Nicine Creed and shit? That one where they say “Just say the word and I shall be healed?” Those are like full blown speeches. Who the fuck can remember those when the last time you were at church was 6 months ago. Especially now that there’s “New Mass.” They made those changes to the whole script like 5 years ago and I still haven’t caught on. Songs became prayers, prayers became songs. A couple years ago I finally knew when the “Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ’s” were and the “Thanks be to God’s.” Not theres all sorts of shit like “And forever and always with the congregation as well.” Priest is like “The Word of The Lord” and everyone else is like “These are the days of our lives.” Completely absurd. Solution: Mumble your way through the whole thing, just make sure you hit the essentials. You know, like “humina humina humina, TRESSPASSES.” “Yada, yada, yada HALLALEUJAH.” As long as you’re with the rest of the church for the keywords, you’re good.

3. Shaking Hands during Peace- Easily the most awkward part of Mass. I gotta shake hands with some rando? Touch the old lady with wrinkly hands? No thanks. And you do the awkward thing where you turn and see someone and you’re like do I shake, do I not shake? You stick your hand out and pull it back and its like you’re doing the fuckin hokey pokey. Solution - No eye contact. I have a steadfast rule: I do Peace Handshakes and Peace Kisses with my family members, I fill my quota with one stranger and one stranger only. After that, I look directly at the ground. If you don’t look at anyone, they won’t expect a handshake. I’m debating just turning around and giving the whole church the two-fingered peace sign. Just peace the whole crowd and call it a day.

4. Always Have An Exit Strategy – Nothing worse than when you’re in the home stretch and it feels like you’re all done after Communion but you realize there’s like 10 more minutes after of no value. You gotta go back and kneel for a while as everyone else finishes getting theirs, and then there’s another prayer and a song and you gotta wait for the priest to walk the whole way down the aisle. F That. Solution: Make sure you put your jacket on before you go up for Communion. Because you’re gonna wanna get your Jesus Cracker, curl around the back of the church, and dip out to beat the traffic. Post-Communion church is like the last 2 minutes of a game when you’re up by 50. Its best to just skip out early and get to your car.

5. The Most Important Rule - Don’t Look At Any Girls- Without fail there’s always a couple girls you went to high school with or a couple girls who were like freshman when you were a senior in high school and now their all grown up and lookin like a smoke. And of course they’re dressed completely inappropriate and you take one look at them and your mind instantly wanders to some very un-Christian thoughts. I always see some girl who was probably like 16 years old, looked like she was 25, and as the priest is talking about mangers and frankincense and I’m thinking about stalking her Insta and asking her to be a smokeshow. Terrible. Solution: No fucking clue. Haven’t figured out how to stop doing this. Any suggestions are welcome.