See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Empty Holy Water Fonts...

And church ladies.
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My local parish has adoration all day on Wednesdays. It is one of Minneapolis' best kept secrets. Few people attend, aside from a handful retired folks, I would guess in their 80's. They each sign up for a specific hour - sometimes coming in by two's. It is very quiet, without distraction; rather than a small chapel, we are in the main church.
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Last spring, the woman who schedules the adorers and finds substitutes for absentees, had to undergo surgery. She asked if I could fill in for her. I was delighted to do so, although I had reservations about reposing the Blessed Sacrament at the end of the day. (The pastor is unavailable at that time of the afternoon.) At the closing of adoration, we recite the hymns and prayers for benediction from our places in the pews; after which, I repose the Sacrament and return the candles and monstrance to their place in the sacristy. For me it is rather difficult to perform this function; though it is permitted, I am not comfortable doing it.
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Although I wasn't aware of it initially on Wednesday, the lady for whom I was filling in is now well enough to resume her responsibility. In fact, she was present for the last two hours of adoration. At one point, she came over to my pew and said a few words about the absence of Holy Water; I mentioned that I noticed a large container of it in the sacristy. "Oh, are you going to fill the fonts then?"
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I laughed. "Not at all. I couldn't do anything like that unless Father asked."
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She chuckled and returned to her pew, without mentioning her desire to close adoration. As we (there were 3 of us) concluded the hymn, I entered the sanctuary to repose the Blessed Sacrament, unaware she was following me; upon leaving the tabernacle, I discovered her standing at the foot of the altar.
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I'm not sure if she was annoyed with me, or if she was embarrassed or what, but I got the distinct impression she wanted to be responsible for 'benediction' from now on. After everything was locked up, I walked with her to her car, and I said, "I hope you will be able to take care of things now, I'm ready to step aside if you don't mind."
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Smiling she said, "Well, maybe we can switch off now and then - we'll talk."

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I rarely, if ever, get involved in parish activities.

5 comments:

  1. Well - I learned my lesson BIG time. For awhile I did everything and now, except for RCIA, which I will be done with in a few more classes, I do nothing.

    My motto now is "let the Protestants have the local church". The experience has done great harm to my spiritual life, which I know is ultimately my fault for allowing it to happen. Now I'm just sad!

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  2. Now Terry, if your little old lady friend were so traditional she should know that a man would get first dibs on the Blessed Sacrament!

    guffaw

    Hell, she shouldn't even be out of her pew!

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  3. Thom - she's in charge though - and I do not care.

    Adrienne - if I did parish work again I'd lose the faith.

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  4. Terry, I think it's great that you're both doing your bit to make that day of adoration possible. Too bad more parishes don't try it.

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  5. Anonymous9:16 PM

    Adrienne, I too learned my lesson "big time", as you put it. In my case I served as organist for 20 years and when I retired was not even given a card. My spiritual life also suffered -- I actually stayed away from Mass for months, but thank God have grown up somewhat and returned. It just turned into drudgery, and perhaps I should have left sooner, but I too feel sad about the way things happened. It's ironic that those who "do" the most in a parish are often the least charitable and most "political", holding on to their little pieces of "turf" for dear life. TIme to turn the page and move on.

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