I spent part of the day with these guys:
Our 11:30 Mass included the presentation of gifts by the magi, and a lovely procession of altar servers, carrying candles and torches. Our administrator, Fr. Frank Passenant, also began the liturgy with an old tradition: blessing chalk, and then scrawling the date above the entry to the church, invoking blessings upon all who enter. (Sign of the times: he told me it was next-to-impossible to find chalk for this!)
I preached and chanted the date of Easter at two Masses, both celebrated by Fr. James Rodriguez, who has been tapped to be our diocese’s next vocations director. He’ll start his new job in June.
I got to know him last year, when he invited me to give a day of recollection for EMHCs in his cluster. It was great seeing him again, and a privilege to serve and preach for him.
As for the chanting: we all survived. Nobody’s ears bled. In fact, both my wife and our music director complimented me warmly — no small thing, since my wife had to hear those two minutes of singing about 18,000 times, and I’d guess that 17,800 of those renditions were just terrible.
Anyway…the music director greeted me cheerfully after the last Mass. “Hey, nice chanting!,” he said. “Thanks!,” I replied, adding, “the second time was better than the first, so by next week, it should be perfect.”
And now, everyone gets a breather until March, when I begin work on the Exsultet…