Friday, September 11, 2009

Asperges me ...

Another video found on The Deacon's Bench ...


14 comments:

In the choir loft said...

Once at the Asperges, before High Mass, the priest was sprinkling the congregation with Holy Water using the aspergillum, anyways this priest had some pretty good power in his arm when, all of a sudden, the tip of the aspergillum came off and it flew across the congregation, bounced off the wall and landed under the pew. I had to fetch it.All in a good Sundays work.

Mike said...

Choir,

I've also got a couple of interesting stories from my pre-Vatican II altar boy days, but nothing that comes close to that.

Thanks for passing it on.

In the choir loft said...

Mike -- I'd sure like to hear those stories. I only have a few others. Mostly stupid things that altar boys do when not paying attention. Leave a story in the combox. Mea culpa.

Mike said...

Choir,

Okay, here's one of my favorites ...

Our Lady of Mercy Parish was created in September of 1957. It took a contractor a little less than a year to erect a 2 story building on our Denise Rd. site, the bottom floor of which would serve as our first church. During those 10 or so months we were housed in the old Lake Avenue Theater, now the home of Charlotte Appliance.

I was one of the parish's initial group of altar boys. To get the job each of us had to prove we had all the server's responses completely memorized. That was critical, as Fr. O'Brien did not at first have any of the laminated "cheater" sheets available from which we could READ the Latin. I remember having to recite both the Confiteor and the Suscipiat in the theater lobby that first Sunday to pass my test.

Fr. O'Brien's first "altar" was a table set up on the theater stage. One Sunday while serving I noticed that this table was resting on a piece of rectangular, solid beige carpet maybe twice the area of the table. This carpet was on top of a second, identically colored carpet that was about 8 inches wider in all directions. And this second carpet was, itself, on top of a third one, same color, and also 8 inches wider all around than the second. With all the rugs being exactly the same solid color, one had to be quite close to notice that there were 3 of them.

After Mass I asked Father why he had the 3 carpets. He said that the Church required 3 steps leading up to an altar but, as far as he knew, there was no rule specifying how tall those steps had to be. Since he was already on a stage in a theater with tiered seating, visibility wasn't an issue. So, in order to be obedient to Church rules, he merely opted for 3 layers of carpeting instead of wasting money on temporary carpentry work.

In the choir loft said...

That priest sounded pretty crafty with getting around the "letter of the law". I didn't know OLM was in the old Lake Avenue theatre. Those were the "building years" in the diocese. Seemed like the whole world was Catholic back then. What a total change from today where it seems like the whole world is anti-Catholic. I pray earnestly that it changes.

One of my other stories is the changing of the Missal from the Epistle to the Gospel side. I served at SS. Peter and Paul and the high altar has 5 steps. During training to be an altarboy, the priest kept telling us to look between the Missal and our body to see where we were going. He stressed over and over "DON'T LOOK OVER THE BOOK!!! Well, sure enough, the other server had a too long cassock on and got the book from the epistle side, turns and bows towards the tabernacle and then starts down the altar steps and trips and falls down the rest of the steps. The Missal goes flying through the air in one direction, the Missal stand in another. He was SO embarrassed. So we got 'ol Humpty Dumpty back together again and Mass resumed, but I couldn't help but laugh all through the rest of the Mass. Is that a sin? lol

Mike said...

Choir,

Yes, those were the building years. OLM was carved out of St. Charles, Holy Cross and Our Mother of Sorrows. All 3 at the time had standing room only at many of their Sunday Masses and school buildings bulging with 50 kids per classroom. What a difference 50 years has made.

I learned to serve in the 5th grade at St. Charles in Greece. That first year all we were allowed to do was serve as acolytes during the consecration at the Sunday High Mass.

When we moved up to 6th grade we were put on the regular weekday Mass schedule, which meant that every month or so I and a partner were assigned to one week's worth of Masses, Monday through Saturday. The parish had 6:30, 7:15 and 8:00 am weekday Masses and, as the newbies, we usually drew the 6:30, which was also the Mass attended by most of the nuns teaching in the school.

This was, of course, pre-Vatican II, which meant fasting from midnight, so we almost always brought something to eat after Mass. Usually we would just go into the school after we had tidied up after Mass and eat there.

However, one week in 6th grade I was paired up with another boy who would start drinking his orange juice and wolfing down his sandwich the minute we got back into our own vesting room and he would still be chewing as we went out to the credence table to pick up the cruets for washing.

Well, one day late in the week he didn't make it all the way through Mass. Somewhere between the Consecration and the Communion he started swaying and collapsed in a heap. This hadn't been covered in our training so I was clueless. Father, of course, had his back to us and didn't know what had happened but all those nuns saw him go down. Within seconds two of them were there and helped him off the altar and into our vesting room. By the time Mass was over and I got to the room the kid was fine. It turned out that he was diabetic and just needed to get his blood sugar back up to a reasonable level.

I don't remember if they took him off the server schedule then, or if the pastor gave him a special dispensation to eat something before Mass. (I believe that was allowed if there was a valid medical reason and this guy certainly had one.)

In the choir loft said...

Did you live near Pamona Drive, off of Dewey? I had a fairly good friend who lived at 92, I think.

Mike said...

No, but only about 1/2 mile NNE of there, in behind St. Joseph's Villa.

I do remember in the early to mid '50s the house on the NE corner of Dewey and Pamona being completely leveled by a natural gas explosion. The house that's there now is new construction from after that blast.

In the choir loft said...

Do you remember when Jackson's Bakery was on the other side of Stone Road from where it is now?

Mike said...

Jackson's has crossed Stone Rd. twice since the 1950s. When I was a kid they were in the same plaza where they are now, but I think in a different building.

In the choir loft said...

What are those rolls they have that are light, fluffy and have a sprinkling of flour on the outside? boy o boy are they good!

Mike said...

Sorry, but I can't help you with that, as I haven't been inside Jackson's in some time. There's just too much temptation behind those doors.

gretchen said...

Choir,

I don't know what those rolls are called besides Tasty! My mom turned me on to those when I moved back here from NC two years ago. They have become a Thanksgiving dinner requirement!

In the choir loft said...

I totally agree, Gretchen. Nothing beats some baked ham inside one of those rolls. YUM YUM