Yesterday was a pretty hectic day; in the morning, I got St. Boniface Church ready for the Mass, in the evening, then I worked on my homily, then I ran over to St. Mary to check on things there, for the dinner party for area priests. Then I ran to the hospital to bring holy communion there, then to the store to pick up some pop and cups and olives. Then back to St. Mary to get things ready there. The priests started arriving around 2:30, we had None (mid-afternoon prayer) at 3 pm, then had drinks and snacks before the dinner.
Thanks to the donor of the lamb butter mold; it turned out well, except poor lambie's face fell off!
Someone asked for the menu: Fruit salad, Lyonnaise potatoes (at least, I think that's what they were; they were tasty, at any rate), broccoli omelet, sauteed mushrooms (the latter two contributed by our retired priest, who is an excellent cook), roast leg of lamb (with the bone removed; we had three of them, so some poor lamb somewhere is having to push himself along on a cart, with one good leg), baked ham, mint jelly, rolls with butter, choice of wine--Merlot or Chardonnay, ice cream with choice of raspberry or chocolate sauce, coffee.
After the dinner, I headed over to St. Boniface for some final prep. The servers all arrived, some of whom weren't able to be at the practice, so a very quick run-through. We ended up with nine servers, which was great; six carried torches, with four of them lined up facing the altar during the Eucharistic Prayer.
I missed several cues! I forgot (I hang my head in shame) to incense the altar and cross at the beginning of Mass! Then, during the Eucharistic Prayer, I forgot to use the special insert for Holy Thursday, which was one of the reasons I chose the Roman canon!
When I began Mass, I realized I'd forgotten my mic; no problem, I usually go without, but I've been trying to use it more, since I really have to throw my voice otherwise. As I sang the sign of the cross, my voice croaked, and I thought, oops! I'm not going to make it through this Mass! So I sent one of the servers for my mic.
Overall, I thought it was a beautiful Mass, and we had at least 300 people present. After reposing our Lord in the chapel, I came back to help some parishioners wrap up the stripping of the church for Good Friday.
I don't mind telling you, I was stiff this morning when I got up. We had Office of Readings and Morning Prayer at 9 am; a handful showed up. This was the first time we did that. After that, I heard some confessions, and the vicar came over and relieved me. Back to St. Boniface to open up the doors, pick up my homily text and a few other things, then back to St. Mary for the Stations of the Cross. I decided to carry the cross myself, and that server held the book for me.
Then I had Sister drive me back to St. Boniface, to bring the Blessed Sacrament consecrated the night before, back with me. After the liturgy of the Passion at St. Mary, we did the same in reverse, for tonight's liturgy at St. Boniface.
After the Liturgy of the Passion at St. Mary -- which went rather well, I think -- we prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet to begin the novena. I took a little break, had a bowl of cereal, and then over to St. Boniface to hear more confessions, then helped set things up for the retired priest who is celebrating the liturgy as I write this. Before going home, I stopped by the KofC's fish fry for dinner.
One of my brother priests, at a nearby parish, made the point to me the other day, that what really strengthens priests is the faith of the people. That was on my mind as I sat at the chair, behind the altar, watching so many people come forward to venerate the cross, held so reverently by the two servers. The servers always impress me, because these liturgies are really hard, especially last night and tomorrow.
Tomorrow morning, after prayers with the Elect and those entering full communion, we will do a rehearsal for the sponsors. Both churches will be decorated--fortunately, I don't have to worry too much about that! But there are always particular details. The Great Vigil is a 9 pm.