My devoted wife Sharon related a story to me yesterday that really brought back memories. Not great memories, but memories nonetheless.
She told me that she was listening to Catholic Answers Live with Jimmy Akin. A person from St. Charles called to relate that on Sunday (the First Sunday of Lent) upon entering the church he dipped his hand into the holy water font only to find-- you guessed it-- sand. His question: "Is that right?", was properly answered.
I responded that that sort of thing was one of the things I don't miss about attending my former territorial parish, and that maybe I would blog about this sort of thing. But Sharon was way ahead of me, it seems, and as I lay sprawled in my early evening interlude of unconsciousness on the sofa, she was able to drown out the sound of sawing logs and come up with the following list.
I risk my marriage by publishing this, because Sharon would rather people blamed me for it.
Also, my brother warns, "You will lose some readers over this." I don't know why, but his instincts are usually right. The list below is meant to be humorous, but frankly, I have experienced every single thing on this list.
Oh well, here goes:
Things I Don't Miss Since I Escaped My Parish
-- Sand in the holy water fonts during Lent
--"Discerning" whether to be on the Parish Council
-- Liturgy Committees--their existence, and omnipresent menace
-- Altar boys of both genders, wearing bathrobes and flip-flops
-- "Inclusive language" inserted in the readings, prayers and hymns
-- Homily damage control for my children: "Now, what Father really meant when he said..."
-- Searching for the tabernacle when I enter a church
-- Groovy tunes like "Gather Us In", Table of Plenty", and "Lord of the Dance", to name a few
-- Loud talking inside the church, and little time for silence and prayer
-- The veritable army of "Eucharistic Ministers" schlepping around the altar
-- People wiping their mouths after receiving the Precious Blood
-- Choirs made up of guitars, electronic keyboards, tambourines and other garage band wannabes
--The parade of children pied-piper'd out of Mass for their dumbed-down "Children's Liturgy of the Word", and trooped back in with equal commotion to share at the table of plenty
-- The term Ordinary Time, making the Mass sound, well, ordinary
-- The increasing sight of the stealth priestess/pastoral associate lurking about the sanctuary
-- Parish layman-led retreats modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous
-- And, finally, sand in the holy water fonts in Lent