Things were not looking good when I pulled myself away from the t.v. which had been set up in the school auditorium for the Redskins fans in attendance at our parish picnic this afternoon. I had to scoot up to Old St. Mary’s on 5th St., N.W., to run through the ceremonies of the Old Mass with the priest who would be my helpful deacon and masterful guide, Msgr. Charles Pope. On the radio on the way up, Sonny and Sam were getting annoyed after the bad punt which Reggie Bush ran back for a touchdown.
0-2? It’s enough to make a guy blue.
I had to turn off the radio and go into the church. Msgr. Pope and I reviewed everything, and I was starting to get really nervous. The Old Mass is much more difficult to say than the new. Much. Don’t get me wrong: it is wonderful, edifying, prayerful, thoroughly worthwhile…but tricky, tricky business–at least the first time out.
Before I knew it, it was time for me to recollect myself in the sacristy, try to get my head together, put on my vestments, and say some desperate prayers. It had already been a pretty long and hot day, and I had 70 minutes of hard work for the Lord in front of me. It would be nice to get a little boost…
My cellphone quivered briefly in my pocket. Incoming text message from mom: “Rs 29-24. So cool.” Fourth-quarter comeback? Yeah, boy! God is good! Okay, put the cellphone away and put on your maniple.
Everything went okay with the Holy Mass, too. I messed-up a few things, but not so as most people would notice. The other saints helped me to do it right.