September 6, 2004

Necco Wafers redux: the Catholic version.

One of the nice things about having this blog is that former students of mine happen upon it and drop me an email. Yesterday, I heard from a student who attended the Law School back in the mid-80s when I was just starting out. What particularly amused me about the email was that she commented on what I have always considered my most obscure post, the Necco Wafers post! The former student wrote:
By the way, as a Catholic kid, Necco wafers were THE candy we all used to play "Communion". We meant no disrespect...we just wanted to practice receiving the Body of Christ before we actually got to do it for real in 2nd grade.

I wrote back and asked if I could quote her and if she wanted to be named, and she said yes. Her name is Ruth Anne Adams. In her email reply she added some detail:
In our house of 3 daughters and one son, it was an elaborate rainy-day activity. My brother who was an altar boy back when it only could be boys was de facto the priest. He wore his blue robe backwards [closest he had to black in his closet], so as to look clerical. We were post-Vatican II kids, so we didn't fashion a kneeling rail. Anyway, the three girls would rotate through the line until the package of wafers was nearly exhausted. Then my brother would return to the "altar" [piano bench] and consume the remaining hosts. We didn't have a pretend ciboria or tabernacle, so all the hosts had to be consumed. I'm pretty sure this is a universal experience, with minor variations, for the cradle Catholic kids. I've checked. You know, once is an anecdote; thrice is a trend.

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