Archive for Church

Au Unbelievably Blessed Weekend And Some Exercise

This weekend saw the penultimate weekend for our awesome priest as well as my brother performing 21 baptisms.  I was exceedingly blessed and humbled to be a part of them.  Father Art regaled the congregation once again with a tale of his days on board his naval ship during the Cold War in the 1970s.  On board ship, there were a number of musicians who frequently played on the flight deck.  In international waters, the admiral encouraged them to go aft and serenade the Russian vessel which was just behind them.  The American vessel started off with “Anchor’s Aweigh” which the Russian’s answered with an appropriate tune from their country.  The tunes would continue to volley with selections like “The Marine’s Hymn” (because NO ONE could beat the USA Marine corps), “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In” (played by the Russians), and finally “Sweet Georgia Brown.”  After hearing SGB, the Russians turned around and headed back into their own space… WHY?  The song is widely known as the theme for the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters, the wizards of the hardwood.

Finally, the lesson of Amos the sheep herder and fig gatherer who claimed that he was not “a prophet nor the son of a prophet” (7:14) was elaborated on. Yet, everyone is called to proclaim the peace regardless of their profession.  This lead to a serenade of “Let There Be Peace on Earth” begun by solo sax and later joined by male tenor voice.  SO glad I was called to fill in for a song leader who had other plans for Saturday night.

This morning was equally blessed and awesome.  A few weeks ago, I was asked by my brother if I had ever thought about being baptized as an adult.  Honestly, I was not sure if I could given my Catholic faith of which I have not been asked to leave nor ever would.  But after prayer, much thought, and knowing that Chris would NEVER do anything that would jeopardize my faith, I was very honored to be one of the first people he has baptized.  Minutes after the ceremony, I found myself feeling even more blessed and strong.  I was also honored to witness Llama, Goose, and 18 others also affirm their faith!

Watching Chris deliver his message, I am sure everyone could see how excited and moved he was by becoming speechless with tears of joy forming in his eyes.  I adored his lesson on the “topsy-turvy/upside-down” practices of Satan.  Peter stating to Christ hours before the crucifixion that the apostles would fight for him.  Jesus actually calls him a Satan and a hypocrite. Judas, himself, being paid 30 pieces of silver to betray his teacher.  Both of these point to doing what is “right” for the individual and not what is “right” for HIM.

On a tangent of my own…. Last night seconds before mass was to begin, the organist and I discovered that the sound system was not turned on.  Being clear in the back of the church in the choir loft, I had to quickly travel to the front where the switch is and turn the mikes on and quickly return to the loft.  Where were my red cape and tights when I needed them 😉

Thanks be to GOD for bringing Father Art and Chris to lead and to prepare those who want to follow and be closer to HIM on their next step to a life of faith.  Love to you both.

 

A Little Princess

I cannot believe how fast the little (or not so little) nephews and nieces are!  From Shelby who turned 17 in March to the tiniest Kydall who is 6 months, it doesn’t seem possible that one of them is driving.  Shelby still has not gotten her permit but I know some adults who have never had a license. Last Sunday, 8 year old Alyssa made her First Communion.  It has been a long haul this school year with all the prayers she has had to learn and devise the meaning of.  Then came her First Penance (I still think I made my First Communion before going to confession for the first time). And finally, the “Big” day.

As in year’s past, there was a special mass for the 14 communicants.  For his homily, Father Art walked down the aisle and asked the children questions about their special day and the journey they had been on.  He made an analogy to every person and and an old toy (that he insists is worth millions… check your toy boxes) called Mr. Machine.  We are so much more than a mechanical robot programmed by a human creator… sounds like a lesson learned during more than a few hours of a certain sci-fi television series and at least the first movie (ZZZZ to that movie).

Following the distribution of communion, the second graders stood front and center and sang while they signed a song.  Not the same song I learned years ago.  Later in the day, the family tried to figure out how long the current second grade teacher has been at the Catholic school.  Just a few years as she has led the classes of my 3 siblings and I (and this year marks my 20th High School Reunion).

After the ceremony, the family gathered at the banquet room of the local restaurant to eat and to celebrate Alyssa’s special day,

On a sad note, Father Art will be leaving our church in July after only a year.  I had heard that he is not in the best of health and the burden of leading a number of services each weekend between two churches along with his other duties has taken its toll.  May God be with Father Art wherever He leads him and his magical sax.

The Wonder Of Childhood

I hate to disagree with Father’s sermon this morning but I do not think ALL adults lose that sense of wonder and imagination that all children share.  Some of we old’uns still possess some of those traits that create a magical feeling on Christmas morning and throughout the year.  Many seem to choose to hide it under a “safe” facade.  As usual, Father Art delivered a meaningful lesson with just the right amount of humor.  In one tale, he related a episode involving a large delivery truck that had become stuck underneath a viaduct.  A group of adults including big wigs of the delivery company and members of the highway patrol attempted to use their far superior intellect which they had obtained through experience and learning.  However, all their formulas and brain power could not accomplish what an 8-10 year old child did.  After numerous attempts to be heard, the youth finally convinced his elders to listen to his idea:  To release just enough air from the tires to lower the truck enough and allow it to pass under.

I know that I have heard that story before but it does bear repeating.  The young whippersnapper outsmarted his adult counterparts.  Perhaps I do lose that wonder throughout the year, but as the Most Wonderful Time of the Year does approach, I for one always seem to become that 8-10 year old locked inside all of us.  It seems to come earlier every year.  The CLASSIC, animated “Grinch” was on last night for the first time in what will probably be at least one showing a week from now until December 25 (I DVRed it so that I could have a Christmas classic -athon sometime in the next month or so).

Shopping complexes have already spruced up with trees and decorations and the return of layaway where it had been discontinued a few years ago.  While at Wally World the other day, I noticed Halloween clearance in front of Christmas decorations.  I think Thanksgiving has become lost in the shuffle.  I for one enjoy Turkey day.  Not only can we stuff ourselves but also gather to share our wondrous blessings with those we love… of course, something we should do every day.

Towns have already hung their candy canes from light poles.  I volunteered to assist at our county’s Idol contest and sure enough, driving down SR 15, right as I turned into the hotel where the contest was held… there were the decorations hung,

Ok… enough of that (I hate to depress anyone with the number of days we have left ;)).  After mass, the church had it’s annual Fall Brunch.  Father Art came over to our table mentioned how good the choir sounded today and asked how my brother was doing.  He had only a short time before he had to venture out to his next mass.  Quite a fellow who has made quite an impact on the entire community in the short time he has been serving as our priest.  He takes all his meals at Rita’s. He also  enjoys sporting events (he congratulated our high school football team for making it to the playoffs for the second year in a row… the team lost in the first round 39-28).

A Change Is Comin’

As I was reading the newspaper this morning, I found that some universal changes will be made in the Catholic church (which will be fully integrated by November at the beginning of Advent, the season when we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ).  As an area priest noted, these changes will not be as dramatic as those that took place in the late 1960s.  Most of these new changes will be seen in the responses spoken after blessings and some of the words spoken in prayers.  From what I gather, these changes are meant to reflect the translation from Latin.

I have noticed a lot of word changes in our hymnals.  Our organist has two humongous binders which are held together by duct tape that must date back 20 years.  For every season, we get new song books and sure enough there are a handful of songs which have words changed.  Most are little things such as a “man” changed to “all.”

OLD:

We are the light of the world.  May our light shine before man.

NEW:

We are the light of the world.  May our light shine before all.

May not seem like much, but we must follow what is in the new book or the congregation might choose to not join in song… those who do choose to join 😉  BRAINSTORM!   Why not have a screen in front of the church display the words?  Not sure if I have ever seen a Catholic church use audio/visuals in quite this way but I often find that the book gets in the way at times… esp. when I lead which is why I like to memorize the pieces as much as possible.  WAIT! The church we visited when we spent the weekend visiting my oldest brother while he was in college used such a display.

By the way… i know that no one is infallible, but the local newspaper has made two big goofs in the last week.  Last week, our sectional champion boys’ basketball team was honored with a picture of LAST YEAR’S TEAM.  The caption was for the current team but the photo included players who graduated last year.  Today’s paper included a photo of the interior of “Sacred Heart Church” when it was clearly “St. Mary’s.”  Unless of course, the churches are identical in every way.  I’m sure I have been inside Sacred Heart at least once but that was 20 something years ago.

A Person Is A Person No Matter How Small

Another fun-filled weekend!  Friday,  I invited a trio of lovelies to take in Elizabeth’s elementary school’s production of Seussical, Jr.  It was a cute show and what A LOT of work!  THIRTY-FOUR songs and a group of 58 youngsters on stage the entire time.  I have no idea how much more is involved in the full-scale edition of the musical but I remember how daunting a task of a 21 song show was especially for the director.  For those of you who do not know, the musical combines the tales of Horton the Elephant who Heard a Who and Hatched the Egg.  Along with Horton, we were entertained by the Cat in the Hat, JoJo (the son of the Mayor of Whoville and his wife), Gertrude McFuzz, Mayzie LaBird, and other characters from the pages of Theodore Geisel.  I have found myself humming the signature piece from the show “Oh, the Thinks You Can Think” for the last few days.  Unfortunately, the youngest of my three companions did not make it through the entire 90 minute production.

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Saturday night,  I was the leader at mass which went really well as celebrated the Second Week upon the journey to celebrating the Birth of Our Savior.

Following mass, I headed out to another fun-filled game night with an 80s flare.  I decided to wear my Indiana Jones t-shirt.  One of the other party-goers was REALLY creative and came as the White Cosby in slacks and colorful sweater.  He even brought a box of Jello Instant Chocolate Pudding (after his search for Jello Pudding Pops turned out to be fruitless).  While playing Life, we had The Goonies playing with no sound which somehow made it go quicker.  After Life, the 9 of us formed teams for a round of Trivial Pursuit 80s style while Christmas Vacation went on without sound.  About 1:30AM without a clear champion, the game broke up and I bid adieu since I had to be up in 5 1/2 hours for work.

A fun weekend filled with great friends!

Work, Praise, and Play

All three in that order.  My five hour shift went fine… UNTIL… four o’clock came and the only other employee in the store was due to be off and the next one did not come in until 5.  So, my work completed or not, I had to be up front and mind the store by myself.  I did have a surprise visit from the former band and choir directors from our rival school.  Very close friends of Emily.  I really hadn’t seen them since the funeral so nice to chat for a few minutes.  Five o’clock came without incident and the two evening shifters took over.

After coming home to relax a bit, I went to worship lead at mass.  Went really well.  Looking over the edge of the loft, I saw my two nephews and niece with their mother (her weekend with the kiddos while dad went to Columbus to watch the Buckeyes hopefully take over the number one spot in the rankings after Alabama was beaten).  Noah waved as he was looking up so I waved back.  After finishing the last note of “Go, Be Justice” I had to quickly say my farewell and head over to the Huber for our Saturday night rehearsal which was threatened about a week ago.  Hopefully, Barrymore’s presence was not missed too much in most of Act I, but I did make it for my last beat.

Quite a turnaround from Thursday night’s rehearsal!  Much smoother and a lot fewer shouts of “Line!” to the promptress which made Mare, Mare very happy.  Since she had to leave for work, Watson dismissed us after reminding us that tomorrow is Press Night.  Hopefully, everyone will be on their “A game” as we take the newspaper reviewers to Victorian era London on the trail of the fiendish Hound of the Baskervilles.

AND THAAAAAA YANKEES ARE OFF TO THE ALCS!  SWEEP MINNESOTA!  START SPREADIN’  THE NEWS!

A 30,000 Piece Puzzle In My Cookie

AH…. Saturday… nothing to do, day off.  I watched Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (can’t beat Doc Brown chewing the scenery as a Klingon baddie getting kicked by the ever poetic William Shatner…”I…have HAD… ENOUGH of…YOU!“).  Then watched the start of the ball game before heading to church and some grocery shopping (UGH… grocery shopping). However, we did have some Chinese.  Mass was interesting: the musicians decided to not show so Father Jim led the congregation in “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” a capella.  I’ve heard worse.  The remainder of mass was music-less.  Someone asked why I did not jump up and volunteer to lead.  Since it was not my home parish and I was not appropriately dressed (I did not have time to change out of my jeans and sweatshirt before we left… last minute thing) I said “Not today.”  Hmm… kind of reminds me of another tangenteer’s latest post!

At the Chinese restaurant, my fortune was actually one of the most fitting I have ever received.  “You have a great appreciation for the arts and music.”  REALLY… A great appreciation sounds just a bit less than reality but I’ll take it! I did not even ask “What kind of fortune is that?” I had to make sure that the cookie was not opened beforehand, but I did take it out of the sealed wrapper.  Six year old Alyssa’s said: “Sell Your Ideas They Are Worldly Appropriate.”  Her idea: “To be on Spongebob.”  😉

While at the ‘Mart, I was asked to go to the toy department.  Sounded more fun than wandering around the grocery aisles.  Push push here and honk that bicycle horn!  Buy me this!  30,000 piece puzzles (well… 300 piece Cinderella’s Castle puzzle that looked fun). Tossed around the Nerf balls.  Whatever happened to the cool Star Wars blasters.  Out of stock? Then the inevitable bathroom break that seemed to take 20 minutes… and of course both girls had to go at the same time… imagine that!  But in the end, I came out relatively unscathed and not a penny poorer than I went in.. so all was good!

Working On A Baptism Rehearsal For One

I am so glad that Mondays are one of my days off each week.  I don’t know if I could have made it this morning.  A long weekend full of fun.  I worked Saturday afternoon before mass after which Chloe was going to be baptized.  Getting her big sister into a dress was a chore.  Kyli was not impressed that she had to put on a pretty dress.  Uncle Jamiahsh to the rescue!  I volunteered to put the dress on!  I almost got it up to my head… Thank goodness the 2 year old stopped me before I did.

During mass… more “controlled chaos” which made me question yet again the absence of a crying room at church.  Not sure if a Saturday night school would be a good thing.  But I do seem to remember a Sunday School for children up to 1st or 2nd grade that must have been done away with.  But the  ceremony was nice, quick, and I got the chance to go to the theatre and see Working. A very different show light on plot but the songs and the performers made it a surprisingly well delivered show.  Glad I got the chance to see it!

Sunday after work.  I had rehearsal.  What was supposed to be “Eve” and I, turned into the director and I.  Beth had a late game night/early morning on Saturday but we read through the play which helped me so not a bad rehearsal at all.  And the short practice allowed me to go out to dinner with the 16!  by 9PM when it was over, I was ready for a break!  Let’s just hope my “daughter” shows up tonight 😉

Here’s the only picture not featuring red eye from the baptism:

From The Twisted Mind Of A Thirteen Year Old

Tonight, my nephew/godson and his two siblings came into the store before Wednesday night CCD.  I thought… uh-oh what is this terrible trio up to.  Joshua (in his infinite wisdom) chose to ask me in his own special way if I would consider being his sponsor for Confirmation… “since no one else seems to be able to.”  I tried really hard not to laugh at the presentation but I could not resist firing back at the way it was presented.  What an honor to be asked when so many others turned it down.  How many others were asked I do not know.  After they left, I decided to think that he failed in his attempt to say that there was no one else he would rather have do it.  Hey… this is my blog so if I want to sugar coat some things, it’s my prerogative.

I remember when I chose the person I wanted to stand with me as I made the decision to accept my Christian faith that my parents and godparents made for me when I was baptized.  It also happened to be my godfather.  I also remember hearing stories about the bishop slapping each candidate on the face as they were being confirmed.  This practice must have stopped some time before I received the sacrament.

Ok, I will say that it will be an honor to be a part of Joshua’s Confirmation day.

Day Planning

A Saturday off with nothing scheduled?! What am I to do? Nice to have one off every other week, but then I go crazy coming up with fun things to do. Well… I volunteered myself to help in the reorganizing of the Huber costume room so we can begin blocking scenes while we await the usage of the grand stage. What’s this you say? A costume room large enough to rehearse in? Sounded unbelievable to me, too until last winter when I saw for myself while looking for costume pieces for Grandpa Prophater. I had grown accustomed to a small, cramped closet full of things that by a show’s end is always in need of an overhaul. Well… maybe once that $5 million complex is built…

Of course, there is the OSU/Penn State game today at Happy Valley at 3.30.  With 2 weeks to go until THE GAME at the so-called Big House.  My Saturday off better not be screwed up.  the Bucks are 7-2 (4-1 in the Big 10)  A rematch of last year’s conference co-champs and they are neck and neck for second place in the Big 10 behind Iowa.

Later tonight, I am filling in as song leader at mass. There really are so many there that each person only does one mass every month or so. I will be singing one of my favorites: “Prayer of St. Francis” (Make me a channel (instrument) of your peace/ Where there is hated, let me bring your love, etc).

Plus, it sounds like it i going to be a beautiful day with sun and near 60 degrees.  Not bad for November 7.

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