Friday, April 3, 2009

A ceremonial day

Last evening was the Chrism Mass, wherein the sacred oils for the coming year are consecrated and blessed. This is a service with all the ecclesiastical bells and whistles, literally, and I always look forward to it with mixed emotions. I know in advance that I will be excited and filled with religious fervor at the beginning of it, and by the end of it, will be wanting to die. Last night was no exception. Usually, on Thursdays I get a nice cup of tea at Starbucks between the Family Kitchen and choir practice, and this keeps me awake for the evening. However on Chrism Mass day, there is no time in between. In the past, Rebecca and I have carefully planned for this contingency, and brought our tea equipment so we can make a quick cuppa in the Family Kitchen. Since the ever-prepared Rebecca was not going to the Mass, and I didn’t think about it, I didn’t get my usual dinnertime caffeine, and in fact, hadn’t even had my usual afternoon fix. Soooo, the last third of the Mass was a bit of a fog. I perked up whenever we had to sing, and slipped back into near oblivion for the prayers in between. Rather like Penrod at church.
While waiting with our bells in the sacristy beforehand – waiting for the procession to start, there was a thrilling chaos -- swarm of white garbed priestly people, and bishops as well. The archbishop had us lift his new crosier, and it was indeed very heavy. Modeled to match the Cathedral Ceremonial Bronze Doors, it was a handful. The three bishops had to go out into the teeming rain so that they could be met at the ceremonial doors by procession (and most prominently, the bell ringing octet), and thus ceremoniously enter the Cathedral. They left the sacristy looking très chic with huge color coordinated umbrellas to keep their mitres dry.
As I said, there were bells and whistles. Pictured is a whistle, courtesy of my friend Maria, and I was part of the bells.


FugueStateKnits said...

Wow! What a way to start the next two weeks! And without caffeine - I'm sorry, that is cruel and unusual punishment, even for Lent, LOL!
Take care,

Anonymous said...

That is one of my favorite Penrod bits as well.