My family used to pray together every evening before going to bed.
The six of us would gather in Mom and Dad’s bedroom. We’d kneel around the bed, 3 on each side of the bed, and begin with the prayers: Our Father; Hail Mary; and Glory be to the Father. We ended with the Serenity Prayer.
Most of the time, we went willingly and behaved. We understood that prayer was not a joke. Despite this, we couldn’t avoid being kids. For some stupid reason, one of us would crack a smile and begin giggling. The laughter was contagious and soon we couldn’t stop, even if we shut our eyes. Dad and Mom didn’t like that.
They also didn’t like when we complained about praying.
“I have homework to do!”
“I want to see the end of this show!”
“I’m about the beat this level!”
“I’m on the phone!”
Mom would sigh and roll her eyes, “It’s only ten minutes. That’s all we ask.”
Dad had a different way of dealing with us, “Your Grandpa used to make us pray too. We had to do the Rosary. And it wasn’t just the cinco misterios, he added the Litany of Saints…”
He let that sink in for a moment before adding, “And we had to kneel too!”
I was familiar with the Litany of Saints. I’d mumbled “ruega por nosotros” at least a dozen times during funeral wakes and Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) festivities. Saying a complete Rosario took 20-30 minutes, depending on how fast we mumbled the Hail Marys and Litany of Saints.
We stopped complaining after that.
Feliz Día de la Virgen Guadalupe