I started thinking about this when we told friends one Friday in Lent, “We’re going to stations, then we’re going to have a lame, late dinner.”
Of course we meant: “We’re attending our parish Stations of the Cross, which is of course scheduled around dinner time, and then we’re going to eat fish sticks with ketchup-stained leftover rice.”
It got me wondering: What else do we say that only Catholics understand? I came up with a few other examples. Feel free to add more in the comments!
“See you at Stations?”
Means: “Will you be attending the Stations of the Cross at the parish this Friday evening?”
“Mass was awesome! They rocked the Fourth Degree.”
Means an honor guard or color guard of the Knights of Columbus were present at the Mass, with their swords, capes and plumed hats adding excitement to the occasion.
“You’re not off the hook yet. There’s still the Newman Center.”
Your Sunday Obligation holds as long as you are able to get to Mass. The speaker here is in a university town, and is reminding a fellow Catholic that this means there is often a late night option.
“Dude, want to do beads?”
Means: “Would you care to join me in praying the mysteries of the Holy Rosary?”
Are you a Father?
It means: Are you a priest? not “Do you have kids?” That is said: “Do you have kids?”
Are you transitional?
If you are a deacon, this means: Are you going to stay a deacon or are you on your way to the priesthood? If you are a woman in labor, this means: Are you almost ready to push?
Where are the sisters?
In a parochial school setting, this means: Where are the women who have taken religious vows? In a home-school setting, this means: Where are all the girl students?
I can’t go to the game. It’s peak plus four.
This is a Natural Family Planning spouse choosing a night at home over other plans on a critical day.
“Wait. Is that magisterial?”
“Is the Catholic factoid you mention part of the official teaching of the Catholic Church?”
She’s not approved, but she’s also not restricted.
Means: It’s okay to visit the site of that Marian apparition, but not okay to make a big deal out of it.
“The Master of Ceremonies put the mitre next to the monstrance, Monsignor.”
This could be translated: “The guy running the logistics of the Mass put the bishop’s hat down in the sacristy by the ornate, round Eucharistic display stand, specially designated priest.”
“That was a fair Assumption.”
Means: “I had a so-so August the 15th.”
The Acolyte brought the aspergillum to the ambo without his alb.
Means the altar server put the Holy Water sprinkler by the lectern for the priest before getting his Mass robe on.
“Is this RCIA or pre-Cana?”
Is the way to ask if the adults meeting in the elementary school at night for class are preparing to enter the Church, or planning to get married.
“No, dude, I can receive. I got a dispensation.”
The speaker’s only chance to eat was within an hour before Mass so a priest dispensed him from the need to fast for an hour before communion.
“I wasn’t a numerary or a cooperator. I was RC. Now I’m kind of CL.”
The speaker was not involved in Opus Dei, but was involved in Regnum Christi, and is now associated with Communion and Liberation.
The ordinary wants to cut back on extraordinary ministers.
“The bishop wants fewer people giving out communion.”
Well, you know what they say … you can’t Tek-ak-with-a!
This is the joke many Catholic dads are convinced they uniquely came up with when greeted by their daughter dressed as an Indian for All Saints Day.
“Do you know if they vest for Vespers here?”
“Does evening prayer here include Benediction or a Mass, requiring a priest to wear vestments?”
Last … If you overhear someone say: “Tell the nuncio there’s a white zucchetto in the vestibule by the Lighthouses.”
… you know that a papal representative who is a Dominican or Norbertine is visiting the parish, and that his hat fell off when he stopped to look at a CD kiosk in the church entryway.