April 28, 2010

Overheard: Homiletic Arithmetic FTW

Last night was Confirmation. It's always a joyful night, and it's good to see so many of our young people completing their sacramental initiation. In the sacristy, while we were preparing for the procession, the bishop was playing with the altar servers, asking each of them in turn if they would like to preach the Mass. All but one shyly declined the opportunity.

Then the bishop came to one girl who had herself been confirmed the year before.

"Would you like to give the homily?" he asked.

"Sure," she exclaimed, "1 + 1 = 3!"

She was referring to a part of the homily from the previous year, at her own Confirmation Mass, in which the bishop warned the confirmandi of the dangers of premarital sex and teen pregnancy. Get it? 1 + 1 = 3.

The bishop was startled and taken aback that his homily, at least in part, had been remembered. We parish staff were proud, of course. Not accepting the calling of his bluff, however, the bishop did preach the Mass himself, and even used the "1 + 1 = 3" bit once again.


Qualis Rex said...

Nice. It unfortunately needs to be said. Not necessarily that it will be heard.

Did the good bishop slap the confirmandi? I think I was among the last to be slapped.

Brother Charles said...

Nobody got slapped. Just a handshake for each one and the sponsor.

ben in denver said...

I hope this was just a small part of the homily for confirmation. I suppose teenagers need to learn about chastity, but the congregation for confirmation usually contains quite a few younger ears.

Where I live the diocesan norm for confirmation is 11, so many of our confirmandi aren't ready to hear such a message yet anyway.

My son Raymond is in confirmation classes this year, and he certainly isn't ready to hear such a message.

Brother Charles said...

Ours are 14 or so.

Qualis Rex said...

Ben - point taken. I guess it would be better to have this during the confirmation courses preceding the actual event itself.

Father Charles - I'm leaning towards the slapping. There's theological reasoning behind it (i.e. when Christ was slapped by the Roman soldiers).