My first day as a deacon was really something. Fortunately for me, the experienced permanent deacon was there for all the Masses, coaching me and sharing the deacon duties with me in genuine spirit of ministerial hospitality. Here's how it went:
Mass #1: Early morning Mass in English, without music. My first bumbling attempt at setting up the altar.
Mass #2: Principal Mass in English, with the choir. My first proclamation of the Gospel, which I forgot to kiss when it was done. Coffee time afterwards with the English-speaking folks.
Mass #3: Principal Mass in Spanish, with the baptism of four babies. My first dismissal of the assembly. Then we were given Latino lunch.
Mass #4: Mass with the Sudanese community for the celebration of the feast of Daniel Comboni, the first bishop of Khartoum. The Mass was partly in English, with all of the sung parts and responses in Arabic. It was very beautiful, actually. After this Mass we were given Sudanese supper, and I gave my first meal blessing.
What a day! But I'm very grateful.