This information is for Catholics only. It should not be divulged to non-Catholics. The less they know about our rituals and code words the better off they are.
The only exceptions are possibly Episcopalians and Lutherans---you know, the Catholics who moved to the suburbs and started voting Republican.
GLOSSARY OF TERMSAMEN: The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.
BULLETIN: Your receipt for attending Mass.
CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the parishto lip-sync.
HOLY WATER: A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY.
HYMN: A song of praise usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation's range.
RECESSIONAL HYMN: The last song at Mass often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left.
INCENSE: Holy Smoke!
JESUITS: An order of priests known for their ability to find colleges with good basketball teams.
JONAH: The original "Jaws" story.
KYRIE ELEISON: The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize besides gyros and baklava.
MAGI: The most famous trio to attend a baby shower.
MANGER: Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn't covered by an HMO. (The Bible's way of showing us that holiday travel has always been rough.)
PEW: A medieval torture device still found in Catholic churches.
PROCESSION: The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass consisting of altar servers, the celebrant and late parishioners looking for seats. End of Mass led by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot.
RELICS: People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel, and stand.
TEN COMMANDMENTS: The most important Top Ten list not given by David Letterman.
USHERS: The only people in the parish who don't know the seating capacity of a pew.