July 20, 2011

Ironing the Tabernacle

Many complaints can be made against religious life, but you can't say you don't get to do a lot of different things. You may recall how last month our vigil lamp decided to end it all. In the course of its demise, it left an unsightly mess of wax on top of the tabernacle. Cleaning it up has been one of many little things I've been wanting to do in these days, and today I finally got to it.

It's well known in sacristy lore that you can get candle wax out of fabric by ironing the wax into a brown paper bag. If it works with vestments, I thought, maybe I can do the same thing with the tabernacle.

So here's the mess:

And here's the procedure:

And here it is all clean:

Be assured that I removed and reposed the Blessed Sacrament elsewhere for the duration of this undignified procedure.


Darmaine Q. said...

"undignified procedure" made me laugh so hard!

But it is indeed a good idea! instead of using spatula to remove the wax that will also scratch the surface of the Tabernacle!

Suzanne said...

I had to iron my hair once. Consider yourself lucky. And nice job!

Judy Kallmeyer said...

Well done o good and faithful servant!

GirlCanChant said...

I feel the need to share an experience from a silent retreat I went on:

After our Holy Hour, our priest realized that the candles had dripped pink wax all over the altar cloth. At first he found this hilarious, but then he started freaking out that we would never be invited back to this retreat center. So he's wondering if there's an iron in this place, and I stupidly say that there's one in our bathroom. He's now looking at me like I'm the last lifeboat on the Titanic. I've never ironed a thing in my life. I'm horrified that my first act of ironing is going to be desecrating an altar cloth.

So now I'm running through the retreat center with an altar cloth. (Naturally one of the staff members saw me, and equally naturally, my room was on the other side of the house.) I get to my room and say to my roommates, "You've got to help me!" So there we are ironing wax out of the altar cloth into paper towels (no paper bags around) on our desk at 10 PM, giggling at the absurdity of it and waiting for Father to come up and yell at us for talking.

Long story short, we got most of the wax out, and the next day we went home. The next time I saw this priest, he said, "[Name], the sisters called." And I was like, "Oh God, we still got in trouble after all!" He waited a beat and then said, "They want you back!"

Ten years from now, this will probably be all I remember from this retreat.

Brother Charles said...

Great story!

cuaguy said...

Every now and then I need to iron my cassock. Most recently, I had to do it after Holy Thursday... We were a bit too fast in stripping the altar, and wax dripped down my cassock...