The Freaky First Friday Mass
We do not always attend the Latin Novus Ordo Mass. We do it for the same reason I occasionally order a hamburger well done: I gain a deeper appreciation for what I am missing; be it a medium rare hamburger or a Mass filled with reverence. It is also good for the noisykids to see why we drive to the ends of the earth to go to a Mass where the Real Presence is treated with respect. Therefore, there is no better time than a vacation to let the noisykids see what sometimes goes on at other churches.
In this report, I must start by saying that the critical parts of the Mass were done by the pastor of this particular parish with great reverence. It is not the priest who made this Mass qualify for a Freaky First Friday; rather, it was the organist. For dramatic effect, I shall refer to the organist as 'The Phantom.'
We were also a few minutes late, so we missed the opening hymn. We arrived during the first reading, and filed into the back pew. I am sad to say that our presence doubled the number of people attending Mass.
At the time for the offertory, a voice from the choir loft called out something unintelligible, which we realized after a moment that it was the name and number of the offertory song.
The organ began belting out a tune I had never heard before. None of the others was singing, as far as I could see. The noisykids were not living up to their names, as most were not even sure what was being sung. My wife finally found out where the song was in the hymnal: in with the other Lent and Christmas songs. Quite a strange selection for a Mass at the end of August.
Somewhere between the first and second verses, the music suddenly stopped.
All voices died down, and the Phantom roared out, "Come on, you all know the words!"
The music started over again.
I could not help myself. I leaned over and whispered in my wife's ear, "Nobody is getting to the consecration until we sing this song right!" She giggled, and I finished out the song by humming the tune. It was all I could do.
The rest of the Mass proceeded well, until the closing hymn. It was that wonderful song, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, penned by that wonderful Benedictine (?) priest, Martin Luther. To me, this song will always be the theme song for that Claymation Classic, ‘Davey and Goliath.’ The very hint of the tune brings back memories of Goliath, the dog who was really the conscience of Davey, saying such lines as,
“Gee, Davey, I don’t think God wants you to disobey your mother and father and drive the car around town,”
“Davey, why don’t you stop setting fire to the school? Is this what God wants you to do?”
This would always be followed by Davey giving some flimsy excuse for his actions. All these memories make it hard for me to sing this song with a straight face.
This was only the first of several notable things that happened at Mass while we were searching for the Scorpion who ran away. I hope you have not forgotten the Scorpion.