“Are they always this long?” was her first.
“The interminability of the Mass is in direct proportion to its importance,” I said. “A Mass can be as short as fifteen minutes, if it’s of the 7 AM weekday variety with only six people, three of whom are wearing adult diapers, in attendance and the priest has an early tee time. That's a Low Mass. This is a High Mass."
"Do they have a medium Mass?"
"No. It's a religious service, not a toaster oven. This is the funeral of a Supreme Court Justice, so it's going to be endless. Bigger occasions mean longer Masses.”
“I’ll say. One of my sorority sisters got married Catholic and it took hours. It was unbelievably hot in the church. I thought I was going to faint. Would they have poured Holy Water on me if I had?”
“No, they would have used regular water, for which you would have been grateful. Most holy water fonts are contaminated with fecal matter, from people who use them without washing their hands thoroughly enough after making poopie but think they deserve to go to Heaven anyway.”
“Ewww,” she said.
“It’s consecrated fecal matter, if that’s any consolation to you.”
“HE’S SPLASHING IT ALL OVER EVERYBODY!”
“It should be mostly splashed on the casket. Some priests have better aim then others.”
“Now they’re lighting up some caviar.”
“That’s incense. Caviar is very difficult to ignite. He should be waving it all around the casket.”
“Yup, that’s what’s going on. Hey, the priest is Scalia’s son.”
"Oh, yeah? Well, the Justice had eleven kids. If you’re Catholic and have that many offspring, you’re more or less expected to give one up to the priesthood. It’s usually pretty obvious which one. When a Catholic boy says to his parents ‘I feel the call to be a priest,’ those are the Catholic code words for “I think I’m gay.”
When the funeral procession wound out of church, she noticed that all of the figures that accompanied the remains were male. “Hey,” she said, pointing at the nuns still positioned in the pews. “How come only the men get to be in the procession?”
“Women have their place in the Church. They have to stay in it.”
She snorted. “That’s hardly fair.”
“True, but you shouldn’t complain about it. We borrowed that idea from the Jews.”