Did Not Keep Us from Praying

28 Nov

All day on Friday and Saturday, I had that icky, nervous, churning, unsettled, bothersome feeling in my belly, that feeling that I get whenever I feel uncertain or incompetent or inexperienced (or when I am worrying, as I regrettably do too often, about how I will perform or how I will look in the eyes of others).  

After Masses on Sunday I was exhausted and relieved – and grateful. It was an exhaustion and relief full of gratitude. 

Even during Mass on the weekend I was feeling grateful for the Deacon and the Music Director with whom I serve here at St. Andrew.

Dovile has been remarkably capable and positive (and patient with me). Her choir members were of immense assistance, some of them coming to more than one Mass in order to help the congregation (and me) to navigate our way through the changes.

I find it hard to imagine how priests could have survived the First Sunday of Advent this year without the presence and assurance of a liturgically savvy deacon like I have at my side when I am in the sanctuary.

Add to that the good sport and ever willing, flexible and humble (and brilliant) Sunday priest-associate that we have in Father Ken Morman.

All things considered, our transition to the new words and chant were as uneventful as they were eventful. How did it go at Masses this weekend at St. Andrew? It was as much a non-event as it was a huge event, thanks to Karen Kane and her Archdiocesan Worship Office and the outstanding learning opportunities and materials and worship aids provided for us, to Dovile Krempasky and her choir members, to Deacon Tim Schutte, to Father Ken Morman – and to the good people of St. Andrew who have been accepting, teachable, responsive and engaged during the time of preparation – and of especial good humor during the “first” Masses that we celebrated together.

Of course, we all flubbed up and stumbled a few times, but it did not keep us from praying. Contrary to the headline in this morning’s local newspaper, there was “no Mass confusion” here at St. Andrew. Today I feel proud to be a Catholic priest, and humbled to be able to be the parish priest among the Catholics of Milford.

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