We're still in-between. But, this spring, it has seemed more complicated. Older son is still loving the choir at the Episcopalian church, and I'm still alternating between that and the Catholic parish. However, my daughter has decided that she's really Catholic so she eventually wants to be confirmed in the Catholic church. And younger son says that he likes the Episcopalian church better.
I could end up feeling like a ping-pong ball!
Now, younger son is only seven so his preferences could change. But, if we all (except for older son who needs to be driving by the end of the summer in order to continue choir), went back to the Catholic church, next fall would be the time for younger son to join a First Communion class. However, he had a very bad experience in Sunday School two years ago (quite frankly it was the worst experience any of my children has ever had in any class - church or otherwise!), and he's absolutely opposed to going to any Sunday School or Vacation Bible School. We're back to homeschooling instead of Sunday School, and I'm not inclined to push him at this point. He's learning his Bible stories, learning about the liturgy, and even occasionally listens to (and comments on!) sermons and homilies. His faith is on its way. He can go through First Communion when and if he feels ready.
This would also be the year for my daughter to join a Confirmation class. But they meet every Sunday afternoon - for two years! So much for family time! - which is very important to us. After hanging around the Episcopalian church every Sunday afternoon the year older son was Confirmed, my daughter has no interest in doing that for two more years.
My Confirmation and dear husband's Confirmation both were at the end of year-long classes so I wondered why it now takes two years. Especially since RCIA, the process non-Catholic adults go through to join the church and which gets one through First Communion, First Reconciliation and Confirmation, only takes one year. The two year requirement is the policy of the Diocese of Raleigh which does not explain why anywhere on their website. So, I did a Google search. The best I could find is that many Catholics drop out of church altogether between their Confirmation and their wedding - so this is the Church's "last chance" for awhile to get them involved or educated. That's why they drag it out.
I don't have any concerns like that about my daughter's faith, though, so I don't see that it's necessary to
kill take up two years of Sundays for this process. She's planning on being Confirmed when she's in college, where the process takes a year and where, as she puts it, "You're treated like an adult so they don't waste your time!"
[Side note: Grownups don't generally consider whether or not they're wasting children's time. I guess it's supposedly because children have "so much" time - although I found that, in some ways, I had more free time when I was at work (pre-children) than when I was at school. And it's not that my daughter is opposed to spending time, even lots of it, on something worthwhile - say, learning to dance en pointe, or spending a major part of last week reading through Les Miserables. Unabridged.]
I've noticed that churches - Catholic or Protestant - seem to schedule everything for teens on Sunday afternoon. If the younger two children did do the age-scheduled sacramental classes (First Communion and Mass in the morning and Confirmation in the late afternoon), we'd spend all day running back and forth to church and need Monday off to rest! I've always wondered why teen things have to be scheduled so far away, time-wise, from the rest of the church activities on Sunday morning. I would think that would reduce the number of teens who would get involved. Any insight is welcome!
So, it turns out that things are not as complicated as I thought they might be earlier this spring - when I was trying to work out how to get everyone to choir/First Communion class/Confirmation class. I'll still go to the Episcopalian church to worship and hear older son sing. I'll still attend Mass, and probably at the same parish even though Father C is leaving. But that's another blog post.