Becoming Episcopalian : Tomorrow night

I am officially being received into the Episcopal Church during tomorrow night's Easter Vigil.

Where did Lent go? For that matter, where did the beginning of the year go? I can't believe it's almost Easter.

Alas, that's one of the downsides of being a grad student. I fully meant to read the Book of Common Prayer (BCP, and that does not stand for "birth control pill") and read the accompanying book that explains the history of each part of it during Lent, but it didn't take too long for me to supplant reading it on the bus with homework, instead.

I also meant to read it before bed--but that was replaced with homework up to the last minute, shower, and then falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.

It's the same way I meant to blog more, but hello, homework. Also, hello new job. I was promoted at work not long ago, and this new position keeps me incredibly busy, so I rarely have downtime at work anymore. I like being busy. But I go home exhausted, and it makes it hard to study, let alone train for the marathon.

Okay, I've got my excuses out of the way now.

How do I feel about reaching this point in my faith journey? It's hard to say. It feels rather anticlimatic. It was what I needed to do. Also, becoming Episcopalian is hardly that big of a change. The Episcopal Church is the via media, the middle way, between Catholicism and Protestantism. As I told someone on Facebook, I still feel Catholic. I'm just not Roman Catholic anymore.

I do feel a little bit sad. It's sad when you end any relationships, even when it's clear it wasn't working out. To end the relationship with my church of second baptism...well, there's definitely a bit of sorrow. (And yes, I did say second baptism. I was baptized as an ELCA Lutheran as a baby, but then my parents thought that wasn't good enough, and baptized me Catholic when I was 2.  I asked the pastors if they wanted to baptize me a third time just to make sure, and they thought I was good to go, ha.)

I am happy, too. It's nice to be part of a family that welcomes you even if you disagree--no matter how big the disagreement, or how small. It's nice to be part of a family that doesn't judge you. You won't hear the phrase "cafeteria Episcopalian" uttered except in jest. It's nice to go to church and not be afraid that intolerance, disguised as doctrine, might be printed in the bulletin or talked about during the homily. It's nice to be part of a church that gives you latitude to question, to discern, to grow spiritually, while giving guidance that doesn't hinder growth.

That's not to say there aren't faults in the Episcopal Church. I know full well that I am joining a family that has its own drama (Archbishop of Canterbury, anyone?), its own errors, and I am fine with it.

So, yes, I am looking forward to tomorrow night.

Filed under: Becoming Episcopalian

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  • Well Holly, it's a done deal. As of last Saturday you have moved from the Roman branch of the Holy Catholic Church to the Anglo branch of the Holy Catholic Church. Religiously, not much has happened. The Body of Christ is still, well, the Body of Christ, isn't it? (No matter what THEY think!) The difference is what will be, rather than what always has been. No one to tell you how to behave in your most private moments. No one to tell you what to think about some important areas of the Faith. So next week, you will only have yourself to blame. It isn't going to be easy any more. I wish you the very best. Buen Camino.

  • In reply to Mark:

    Thanks, Mark. That's exactly how it feels. Just moving from one branch of the church to another--but it's the same universal church. It's kind of freeing in a way.

  • Perhaps my choice of words ("You will only have yourself to blame...") could have been kinder, given Parts 1-3 of your follow up blog. What I meant was that you will be free from the Magisterium but the trade off will be shouldering the responsibility for grappling with these issues....but, believe me, you aren't doing it alone.

    I too suffered from anxiety attacks when I was younger so I do have empathy for what you went through. All I can say (and I hope it helps) is...forgive yourself. You are going to be fine. Getting outside your head was excellent advice. It gets better.

  • In reply to Mark:

    That makes absolute sense :)

    And thanks so much for your kind words. Progress seems so slow and sometimes goes in reverse, but I'm glad to hear that it gets better.

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