June 25, 2011

Motorcycle Blessing

This is a perfect example of the stuff I miss from being a parish priest. On my way to the provincial chapter last month I stayed a weekend with the friars at my old assignment. I asked the pastor if I could help out by taking one of the Sunday Masses. The Saturday was fairly busy--it's wedding season, after all--so he offered me the vigil Mass.

While we were in the back of the church getting ready for the procession, a couple came in and approached me. "After Mass, Father," they asked, "would you bless our new Harley?" Of course I would, I told them, and then instructed one of the altar girls to bring down the holy water bucket and aspergillum when we recessed out of the sanctuary at the end of Mass.

By the end of Mass it was pouring rain. But I said I would bless this motorcycle and I was going to do it. So I took off the chasuble and went out. I told the altar girl that she didn't have to come, but she seemed to want to. (She's dedicated, and always remind me that she served at my first Mass.) So there I was, standing the rain, vested in alb, cincture, and stole, accompanied by my acolyte and the two proud new Harley owners, praying over the new motorcycle. This was witnessed by a large number of parishioners who were waiting out the rain on the portico.

One always feels a little funny sprinkling holy water in the rain.

That's just the sort of prayerful adventure that I miss from being a parish priest. I don't think I even knew the couple, but somehow they found out who I am, because they managed to deliver to me this glass as a thank-you present.

1 comment:

Lee Strong said...

Wonderful. We so often stereotype "bikers" in negative ways, yet clearly here are two people of faith.