Tuesday, April 03, 2007

'Behind the scenes' at the parish in holy week...

I don't know what other parish priests have to do, although I can imagine; but here are some projects I'm working on this week...

* Preparing for prayer on Holy Thursday morning.

One of my bright ideas was to have Office of Readings and Morning Prayer (Matins and Lauds) for Holy Thursday morning. Trouble is, there isn't anything handy to copy and distribute. We have books with morning prayer in them, but not Matins; so I was busy preparing that today. Other problem is that the texts aren't easy to find online, but I found everything. Unfortunately, it will be mostly recited; I was going to have someone lead it, but we have three funerals this week, all on Wednesday! (Can't have funerals after Wednesday.) So the cantor who was going to lead Thursday prayers is doing a funeral Wednesday evening, at 7 pm.

* Cleaning out the containers that hold the sacred oils.

Tonight, in Cincinnati, the Archbishop will bless the new oil, and consecrate the chrism, for the coming year. Tomorrow, the vicar will go get the fresh oils from the dean. So we have to clean out the containers, and burn the old oil. (I confess I kept back a bit of the anointing oil, and the chrism, just in case!) One of our dear Sisters of Charity volunteered to burn the oil for me; so I was cleaning up some of the containers this afternoon.

* Cleaning up the candle "followers."

These are the brass thingees that cap the candles used at Mass. They get all cruddy over time, so I generally clean them up right before Christmas and Easter. How to do it? I put them on cookie sheets and put them in the oven at a low temperature; the wax melts pretty quickly, and then they wipe clean pretty well. Parish office smells funny from the wax.

I'll do most of them tomorrow, taking care of the rest on Thursday, after the various funerals, and before the Mass of the Lord's Supper.

* Shopping.

I have a dinner with area priests on Holy Thursday; I have to pick up some Bourbon and some beer and a few other items.

* Help bury the dead.

Our retired priest has two funerals tomorrow; I am taking care of prayers tonight. Thankfully, both vigils are at the same funeral home, an hour apart. (Update at 7:12 pm: And, oh, I forgot to mention I have a funeral tomorrow as well--that makes a total of three. The latter will be in the evening, with the burial on Thursday morning.)

* Try to conduct other parish business.

I still had to finalize the bulletins, meet with staff (including a meeting at 9 tonight, with the music director; he's busier than I am); thankfully, not so many phone calls.


Home School Mom: Denise said...

Are you not able to participate in the Chrism Mass for your diocese?
I have no idea your geographical location to Cincinnati. Our diocese, although comparatively smaller has two Chrism Masses for the priests and faithful in two different locations to accomodate north and southern areas. This means Steubenville for we north in the diocese, and Marietta for the southerners.

Denise in Ohio

Fr Martin Fox said...


The Chrism Mass is at the Cathedral, in Cincinnati, 82 miles down I-75. I went last year; but if memory serves, I stayed overnight. This year, too much going on.

Anonymous said...

Father Martin, I'm praying that the Lord will give you lots of energy this week to fulfill your duties -- but since you approach these tasks with such great love for God, they sound like a labour of love. I wish you a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter.

Regards from Canada,
Patricia Gonzalez

Home School Mom: Denise said...

No private jet? :) With three funerals going on tomorrow - yep, I'd say you have plenty to keep busy right where you are.

Have a great Triduum ahead and wonderful Easter Season,
Denise in Ohio

Anonymous said...

Just an idea. You can use the old oils to soak purificators and corporals that must be destroyed due to wear and use them to start the Easter fire (they will be drier by Saturday but still flammable). Everything is burned that needs to be burned for respectful disposition and it's done in a way that ushers in the Great Vigil.