Ras Le Bol

So we had been attending 7:30 am Sunday Mass for pretty much the better part of the last year.  No music.  Around these parts, that’s pretty important, because Catholic music is depressing.  And depression is no fun!  But inevitably, the sleeping patterns of our littlest one have significantly changed, and so we find ourselves in need of attending a later Mass.  At our parish, that means 9:00 am is the go-to dealio, as 10:30 involves guitars.  I will apostasize before willfully attending such a thing.

So we’d been attending the 9:00 am Mass for a couple of weeks.  And there’s music.  Boy, is there ever music.  I suppose I could have endured the tedium.  It seems wrong to have Mass be an exercize in fortitude, but that’s where we are these days.  Our new pastor has wonderful homilies.  But being of That Generation, he also is quite prone to make it up as he goes along.  Nothing exhorbitant, the usual stuff.  Like paper cuts.  A word here, a word there.  A misplaced joke.  A sentence here, a sentence there.  Whatever.  Then we got a couple of Weekend Helper Priests (aka Weekend Warriors), one is good, but apparently can’t make it to the early Masses.  The other is…OK.  But he is a Wanderer.  He likes to stay active during the homily.

Then we got a new deacon.  Preached a great homily, but is also a Wanderer.  All the way down into the nosebleeds.  I’m pretty sure that’s illicit.  Steve, chime in, please.  And now his wife is our liturigical director.  She previously assumed the position at St Thomas of Villanova.  Our oldest’s godparents quit that place for greener pastures.  So, OK, kinda strike one.  But then she has treatened us will Bell Choirs and Children’s Choirs.  I suppose the bell choir might be alright.  But not a children’s choir.  Look, kids are Christians.  They should be involved in stuff.  But…

Anyway, we occasionally go through these periods of exasperation at being Catholic.  So, usually our rememdy is to go parish-hopping for a while.  Take some time apart, see other people, and then reconvene to resume our relationship.  But as in dating, this is, of course, a euphemism for, well, I don’t like you that much, if there ain’t nuthin’ better out there, I’ll be back, but otherwise, sayonara.  Well, our parish is kinda mushy, but it is much better than the majority of parishes we have usually visited in our times apart.

With this exception.  St Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church.  Fifteen minutes from home.  It is a gorgeous little church.  About a 100 people show up each week.  The liturgy is completely chanted, save the homily.  Incense fuming, bells ringing.  By and large, people aren’t dressed in bathing suits.  Last weekend, the homily was about the 7th Ecumenical Council.  Wha..  There’s more than Vatican II?  The songs are robust, though certainly different.  Each week, we have been approached by happy Catholics, welcoming us, inviting us to donuts and coffee.  Simply put, the whole thing is gorgeous.  And friendly.

It is also completely foreign to us.  The wife gives up trying to figure where we are in the “Missal” about 2 minutes before I do.  Never heard the songs before.  It is longer than a Latin-rite Mass, by about 20 minutes (a significant consideration given the 1 year old who is now emoting).  You stand.  A lot.  I mean, a really lot.

So I am torn.  The wife, not as much.  I think we have agreed for now, to split time between this and our parish.  But I already know more people at St Michaels.  I’ve sat down for coffee with the priest.  And I am not constantly frustrated by the banality, though I am frustrated that I can’t follow along yet.  But that will come.

Anyway, blah, blah, blah.

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~ by Rob on March 3, 2009.

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