It was the first time since I'd "become" an atheist. Yes, you can take this to mean that I am very, uncomfortably and irritatingly, closeted. In short, it was a highly tense and awkward experience. I felt like a complete hypocrite, an impostor among the faithful. If you've never taken communion, you should go to a church just for the educational exposure. It was surreal, watching this mass of people silently and reverently meander up to the front of the church and assemble into lines. Take a piece of bread from the first person, who tells you something along the lines of how wonderful it is you're eating Jesus' body, then move to the next, who mumbles a brief phrase about blood as you cautiously dip your ration of holy flesh for the month - into what you hope is grape juice. And while you're untying that mess of a sentence I'm wandering back to my seat, pretending to deeply ponder the goodness of god before putting the thing in my mouth before I remember what it's supposed to be. Aside from the disturbing reality of this demonstration of religion's capacity for compulsion, it irritates me how much I was bothered by performing it. When I was agnostic I didn't worry too much about it; shrugged it off with an apathetic twist of a shoulder. But now it's much different. Having completely renounced any shred of faith in this sort of thing, I almost feel I'm insulting the rest of them with my farce. And despite being an atheist, I do respect the beliefs of others, and their right to hold them. Mostly. I try to at least.