Ashes

Early on, my very proper looking parents decided that religion should be a choice, our choice. I am not sure if it was from pure laziness, or a strategic decision on their part, but there it was. I was born Anglican, yet, we were not going to be going to church at any point in time, that is, unless it was Christmas, or Easter…

With every new posting, came an interesting set of questions and interesting religious complications.

When I was 10, we moved to a very Catholic country, yet, instead of going to the non denominational International School, my parents chose an Anglican affiliated International School with a headmaster who was Roman Catholic, yet left the church in order to Marry, and became an Anglican minister, but still wanted everyone to call him Father. Yeah, confusing, but you gotta love Christianity for that.

So, my very non religiousness really irked the Head Master, he really wanted to change that. Everyday, I had bible class, old testament, new testament, intellectually it was interesting.

Then came Ash Wednesday. The headmaster requested a full mass, not your average Anglican mass, but a full Roman Catholic one. Each one of us went up to the front, knelt down, and had an ash cross put on our foreheads.

I had no idea what was going on, after mass, my forehead began to itch, I went to the washroom, and cleaned off my forehead. As I walked down to the hall, the headmaster looked at me, angry and irritated. He dragged me back to his office, sat me down, and reprimanded me. He then put another ash cross on my forehead, and told me to be a good Catholic and keep it on my forehead. I was totally confused.

It was that moment, I realized my turned Anglican minister of a Headmaster was actually trying to turn me into a good Roman Catholic. My Father did transfer me to another school, I guess, he didn’t want me to be a Roman Catholic after all. Still makes me laugh.

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