Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Second "Triduum"
We've just completed the "traditional" Catholic May Triduum, First Communion, Confirmation, and parochial school graduation. In some ways, the May schedule in a busy parish surpasses the liturgical Triduum with its own brand of busy. First Communion has been done in group format for years here. My pastor tells me there was a move in the 80's to downplay Big Group First Communions, but now the pendulum has swung back to them, at least in our deanery (southern Kansas City). Our FC, formerly a Saturday event, was successfully transferred to Sunday afternoon, postponing the first instance of post-FC-missing Sunday Mass at least a week. Bishop Finn came to confirm about four dozen kids last Saturday night--also a Sunday Mass. Under our previous bishop, we would be treated to a mid-week word service complete with forty-minute homily. One strong instance in which I'm not going to be missing our previous bishop. Not at all. The new bishop actually had the best homily of the weekend, mainly because the pastor and VG both had rare off-Sundays. Finn talked up the universal call to holiness, a topic I'm always glad to hear preached. Tuesday night, the outgoing 8th graders got their send-off. Nice kids. Good for them. The first-year junior high choir sang (sans gr 8-er's) and did pretty well, once they were warmed up. Shari, the pianist/director had recruited a fine drummer, my friend Joe to play trumpet and fluegelhorn, and me to play bass. I also got to play a little piano. As the Communion procession started, I improvised on "On Eagles' Wings" while the first shift received the sacrament, then Shari surprised me by launching into the song. I didn't really have time to change from a slow 8-beat to the usual 4/4. So the choristers had some pretty funny facial expressions singing the Joncas chestnut to sort of a gospel-soul beat. I had a dream way back in '99 about doing that tune in a Target in just that way. We didn't have back-up singers harmonizing on check-out counters, though. Life stays busy on all fronts. Bishop Finn was back for the Serra Club Mass last night. I'd report on his homily, but an upcoming wedding had my attention during the 5 o'clock hour last night. Another thing I'll say for the new bishop: when his people come for liturgy, they clean up after themselves. When Bishop Boland did a Serra Club Mass a few years back, not only did they ask for all sorts of last-minute things, but they left a heck of a pile of dirty dishes in the sacristy. My wife is off for day-long medical tests at the cardiologist. My daughter awoke at 2AM to vomiting and high fever (which still hasn't abated). My brother and his wife are hitting town in five hours and catching early morning flights tomorrow. The pastor's away in New Mexico for a few days, a fact I just realized last night. I feel I want to finish that litany by saying I just saved a bundle on my car insurance. To tell the truth, I'm just counting the days to my own vacation.

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