Rituals and Celebrations

A couple weeks ago, I spent my lunch hour going to mass at Old St. Mary’s on the corner of California and Grant for a holy day of obligation. These are days when you are obligated to go to church in addition to every Sunday. Every time I go to that church during a week day (i.e., for Ash Wednesday or All Saints Day), I’m always surprised by how many Catholics in the Financial District pack into every pew. Surprised and proud to be part of such a community.

Last night, we went to our friends’ 4th annual bacon Hanukkah party. Everyone is asked to dress festive: Santa hats, reindeer antlers. Two of us were sporting our ARTery sweatshirts because it was so cold outside. Dean dressed up as a rabbi and lit the menorah. There were strips of bacon, bacon covered in chocolate, deviled eggs with the filling made out of bacon, bacon-laced cookies, and latkes. I love being invited to share in someone’s rituals like Hanukkah or Diwali or a Bris.¬†We were at the party for over four hours, but we could have spent all night talking to our friends, making new ones. What makes this particular party special is that my friend made it into her own. She took a holiday, personalized it, and made it something fun to celebrate every year. So endearing.

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