Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Events in the life of a priest

Another "day in the life" post, although it will be about events from this week...

Monday (or what a priest does on his day off):

We had a funeral for a man who died last week. I met with the family on Friday afternoon to plan the funeral. I often have a volunteer do this, but in this case, I didn't know the family at all, so this was a way to get better acquainted. We spent about an hour going over the Mass, explaining everything as needed. The family suggested I pick the readings; I suggested some and they liked them. We talked about options: incense is used toward the end; it could be used throughout. Would you like that? (Yes.) We can do some of the prayers in Latin, or would you prefer English? (English.) We can use purple, black, or white vestments--and I explained purple expresses prayerful waiting and hope (Advent & Lent); black expresses mourning and sorrow; and white represents resurrection. Preference? (Black.)

Monday morning, we had the funeral. Not a lot of folks besides the family and the American Legion. We did use incense throughout, and it was very nice. FYI, the way I did it was to load the censer with incense after we sprinkled the coffin with holy water and placed the pall--and then the incense led the procession to the altar. Then we did incense at all the usual places, including at the end which is most familiar. After this, I changed from my Mass vestments into a surplice (I was wearing my cassock) and a black stole, and we went to the cemetery for the burial. No one commented either way on the black vestments, but many did say they liked the Mass.

After the funeral, I came back to church, and was going to stop in on the St. Mary Altar Society lunch; however, I was needed for something in the office. By the time I got that taken care of, it was too late to go see the St. Mary Altar Society--sorry ladies! I wanted to tell them about the vestment I'd ordered for St. Mary, at their behest and with their pledge of funds. We are supposed to have it next month. I'll see if the maker can send me a pic when it's finished, to post here.

I didn't do much after that; I did head down to Dayton for awhile, ending up at Tumbleweeds for an early dinner (see prior post). That was my day off.

Yesterday, after Mass with the schoolchildren, and a quick trip to Tim Hortons for coffee and a breakfast sandwich, I had a staff meeting in the morning, then plenty of office work. I met with the chairman of St. Boniface Pastoral Council in the afternoon, to plan for Thursday evening's meeting. Then some more office work--phone calls, emails, mail to open, etc.

We had a meeting Tuesday evening of our new liturgy commissions for both parishes. When I arrived, one parish did not have a liturgy commission, and the other was falling apart. I had other fires to put out, so this sat on the sidelines. I received some feedback from one parish that parishioners would like to see one.

My response was to say, yes, let's create one for each parish; have them work jointly to some degree insofar as we have one pastor; and I said I believed the key thing must be that everyone will study, and work from, the Church's own understanding of the liturgy. I sought advice from several people on who to name, and it took some time to make phone calls to all involved, and we finally got together last night. We prayed the liturgy of the hours together, then discussed some routine housekeeping matters, and then looked at the beginning of Sacrosanctum Concilium, aka the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy from the Second Vatican Council. This weekend, I'll have a letter in the bulletins introducing these folks and explaining our purpose.

This morning, after Mass, I got together with our director of religious education and youth, because he had a project for me. "Have you ever seen 'MTV Cribs'?" I admitted I had. "We'd like to videotape you giving a tour of the church, explaining everything, sorta like that. I laughed...okay, but we need to do both churches. So that's what we did this morning--but we went to get some coffee and donuts while folks finished their rosary. If the video passes the censor (me), I'll post it here. That is, if it doesn't get accidentally erased.

I was at the Kiwanis lunch today, they signed me up for membership. I haven't found anyone who can tell me where the name comes from; but it's a good group, dedicated to volunteerism.

Then back here to work on some things, that seemed to take all afternoon, now I'm taking a break, and later we'll have our Bible Study--looking at Romans, about to chapter 5 I believe--then I'll hang out with some parishioners afterward.


James Straight said...

From Wikipedia:

The name “Kiwanis” means “we trade” or “we share our talents” and was coined from an American Indian expression, Nunc Kee-wanis.This was originally the motto of Kiwanis, translated as "We build." The current motto is "serving the children of the world".

Anonymous said...

BLess you Father!