It is my custom to attend the 8:00 mass on Sunday. I like to get there early, about 7:35, for quiet praying (this week for Kim) and then to sit back and read the day's readings. After the readings it is pleasant to ponder the thread that connects the three readings. Today that thread was about "thanking" for what we have received. The first reading covered the leper who was cleansed and then went back to Elisha to thank him. The Gospel reading was about the ten lepers that were cleansed but only one went back to Jesus to thank Him. Of course these same readings are read during the mass. After that, today, the Priest's homily was on thankfulness
. Therefore, the same message is presented to me three times, through reading, through listening and through instructing.
Also pleasing is the four person choir that sings just before the mass starts. Later they sang "Amazing Grace" and it emotionally affected me. There are times when I join in and sing (remember, the person who sings prays twice) but my voice, disappointingly, does not have the range it did in the past. Today, the psalm was sung with unusual clarity, every syllable
could be distinguished, I like that. It disrupts me when the psalm is nasally sung to hit every note without attention to the words.
Today, John Daigle
, a past tennis partner, was sitting on my left, there were three of us in our row. During the "Kiss Of Peace" I reached out to my right but the lady did not take my hand. (It brought to mind the time when the same thing happened with an old man. He later apologized
and explained that his immune system was very low and he should not touch anything that might affect it. In fact, his doctor had advised him not to leave the house because of his condition.) She later did shake my hand giving me a big smile.
We have four retarded men who live together with a care giving couple. They are usually all at the 8:00 mass. Today, I was amazed at the quantity
of wine that one of them drank during communion. That was one gigantic sip. It amused me to think of him draining the cup leaving nothing for those following. I wondered if one of his care givers had seen it and if he would be re instructed
in the correct procedure.
After mass is over the priest will come forward and conduct what I most detest. He asks if there are any birthdays and inquires the age, whereupon all the people clap for each one. After this comes the inquiry, any wedding anniversaries. A person will call out the number of years and again all clap. Next, any visitors, and they will call out where they are from, again all clap. While it is inane to me, the people seem to like it.
When the priest exists walking down the isle, small children come forward to hold his hand and walk with him. Sometimes there will be ten children surrounding
him each holding one of his fingers. Yes, a peculiar sight, and it is not easy for him to walk without stepping on them. The kids love it.