Thursday, April 20, 2006

File This Under "Be Careful What You Wish For"

Last year my parish's pastor was reassigned. Before assigning us a new pastor, the Diocese sent out some members of the Pastoral Staff to guide us in a townhall type meeting to help discern what qualities were important to us as a Parish.

One of my requests was to bring back some of the traditions of the Church, like Gregorian Chant and maybe Mass in Latin once in awhile. This request ended up being near the bottom of the list.

Fr. P came in June and, as one of his first sermons, presented a slide show of his experience in Rome during JPII's funeral and the subsequent election of BXIV. He revealed that he has a very dry sense of humor, as well as being self-deprecating.

I liked him a lot. I like him even more as I've come to work with him and hear more sermons.

Then came Triduum.

Fr. P. chanted the Gospel on Holy Thursday. It was not pretty. But it was sincere.

Fr. P. also chanted the Gospel on Easter at the Family Mass (11:00 a.m. in the school gym).

Since I was a lector, I sat in the front. DD#2 was the only altar server. The rest of the family sat in the back because they hate sitting in front.

God knew what He was doing because I would have had to inflict some bodily harm on my family during the Gospel.

"He sang the Gospel!" DS#1 exclaimed. "You're not supposed to sing the Gospel!"

"I know," DS#2 answered. "I almost laughed out loud."

"He didn't sing, he chanted," I pointed out. "Chanting the Gospel in Gregorian chant is an old tradition."

"It's still not right," DD#1 remarked.

"Yeah, why did he do that?" DD#2 asked.

"He did it on Holy Thursday," I pointed out. "You were there, right next to me and you didn't say anything about it!"

Hubs wisely kept out of the discussion. He is a musician and I'm sure that the cracks in Fr. P's voice bothered him.

So, I get my pastor who appreciates Gregorian chant and actually does it. And his valiant attempts, cracked voice and all, happens to be my children's first live exposure (the Pope's funeral was, of course, televised) to this beautiful sacred tradition.

Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?