September 6, 2009

New Schedule

This morning, for the first time in my life as a Catholic, I'm going through a change of parish Sunday Mass schedule. Today I've been praying for the people in any difficulties or inconveniences the change may present for them. We used to have four Masses on Sunday at 7, 8:30, 10, and 11:30 am. As of today we have only three: 8, 9:45, and 11:30 am. I secretly thought that a change like this would be a nice chance to introduce a Mass in the Extraordinary Form, but to be honest I'm not sure if we would have the musical will to do it well.

I'm about to go out to greet the people after what is now the early Mass. So far I notice that the day is starting a lot more slowly; this morning I have had time to pray the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer, as well as have breakfast and make my morning meditation, all before 'going to work.' That never happened before!

Update 1: I can't complain about the whole thing because I got what I asked for: more time in between Masses. We don't have a Sunday sacristan; all of that stuff is done by me and the pastor. So it was not unusual to have exactly thirty-five minutes or so to greet the people at the end of Mass, recover and pack away the collection, purify and clean vessels, set out new ones for the next Mass, light candles, do one's private preparation and get vested and pray with ministers for the next Mass. So the extra fifteen minutes we have now is very welcome.

Update 2: The new 9:45 Mass--they are at Holy Communion as I write--seems to be well attended, given that this a holiday weekend. Once Sunday school starts it will be much bigger. A devout woman, ninety-three years young, collapsed during the homily. EMTs arrived quickly and she was cared for well. It is not yet known whether the new Mass schedule or the homily in question had anything to do with her falling ill. In your charity offer a prayer for her peace and healing today.

Update 3: The new schedule seems to have been implemented without any (expressed) misery or other problems. So today I am praying in thanksgiving for the folks we serve here. As I once heard a priest say at a day of recollection, riffing on St. Paul, "In the end there are three gifts that last: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is flexibility." It sure made for a less strenuous day from the parish priest's point of view, especially with the extra time in between Masses. I had enough zeal in me after it all to go hear a Missa Cantata in the afternoon!


Qualis Rex said...

Prayers offered. And thank you for your prayers as well. All is good under the hood now (so to speak).

P.S. I hope you do get your chance to offer the EF. I wouldn't worry too much about the music. If you offer it, they will come. I don't know any EF mass ANYWHERE that isn't well attended. Here in CA people will drive for hours just to go, so you'd most likely get a welcome bump in attenence.

Anonymous said...

Father Charles, your secret desire for an EF Mass is very intruguing. The Church is perfectly suited for an EF Mass which of course was celebrated there for many years and which was thankfully not renovated (or "wreckovated") to remove the high altar. I think that an EF mass would be a welcome addition. However, I think that perhaps would need to be a period of instruction to the faithful, the development of altar servers, and the music as you note. As you probably know, in many parishes these were introduced gradually, over a period of time, with the first step being an explanation of ad orientem worship and the introduction of the celebration of one OF mass each Sunday ad orientem. Maybe this is something you can work on and gradually move to the addition of an OF Mass. I agree qith Qualis Rex that you might be pleasantly surprised by the result.

Brother Charles said...

Thanks, Anonymous, for the thoughtful comment. I agree with you entirely.

There is an unspoken truth here, however that enables me to muse so freely. A request for such thing properly derives from the a group of the faithful (who are presumably ready to provide or sponsor what is needed in terms of equipment, altar service, and music, etc.)and is granted by the pastor.

Since I do not have the burden of being either of these things, I am free to muse.