Monday, April 5, 2010


Having a parochial vicar around, particularly one that is fresh from the seminary and who knows his stuff, is both a blessing and curse. It is a blessing because he is here all day every day and we got a lot of things done that others simply cannot help with. Therefore we actually had some extra time on our hands preparing for the Triduum that I normally do not have. The bad part is that we had a little extra time on our hands that we normally don’t have so that we were able to fill every moment pouring over all the rubrics and decrees of the bishop to make sure we are keeping with the mind of the Church as best we can. We tried to leave no detail unheeded.

It took hundreds of ministers and other workers as well as hundreds of hours to pull together Maundy Thursday though Easter Sunday. We did our best to make sure that everything was remembered and executed. We tried to anticipate everything even to where each item used would be set so that we and the ministers (first would remember to use them and secondly) would have what we needed to do perform our tasks.

Things went pretty well. Maundy Thursday seemed to go well as did Good Friday. Even the Blessing of the Foods passed without too much fuss. Then it was time for the Easter Vigil. We had gone through by ourselves the whole thing a couple of times. Then we spent about an hour and a half going through it with everybody, walking through the ceremony so that everyone would know what to do and feel comfortable with it. The only part we skipped (because it would so very obvious) was the pouring of water at the baptism.

All day Saturday people scurried about making sure everything was where it was supposed to be. We lit the fire outside. The liturgy progressed mostly smoothly. Then we came to the baptisms. We stood before the baptismal font when I realized the biggest oversight of the weekend. I had nothing with which to lift the water and pour it over the heads of those being baptized. We were not in a place where I could grab a server and send him or her to go fetch SOMETHING (even a Dixie cup!) nor was there time or opportunity for me just to walk across the sanctuary and into the sacristy to get something. By the time I noticed it was time to start.

Now you might think, “why not just use your hands?” This would be fine but lifting the water higher than your head from the ground while wearing five layers of clothing, some of it draping and hanging from your arms could mean wearing soaking vestments for the next hour and half. Fortunately the first person to be baptized decided that he was uncomfortable bowing over the holy water when he was to be baptized and opted to kneel. This brought his head a lot closer to the water and so I was able to scoop it up rather easily and pour it without it running down my arms. Thank you Holy Spirit that he inspired the others to kneel also!

That meant that little faux pas was covered with little brouhaha save for the smile on my face. The last thing was now my hands were soaking wet, I needed to turn a page in the book, and there was no place to dry my hands (except on the vestment, which I was not about to do. My Mother would be proud.) Fortunately there was a towel dropped on the floor and I was able to bend down and pick it up. A little ungraceful but better than the alternatives.

The best laid plans of mice and men . . .


Cracked Pot said...

"The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley. . . . An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, for promis'd joy!"

To a Mouse, Robert Burns (1784)

tara said...

Thanks for the laugh at your own expense, Father! I'm sure the entire weekend was lovely for those who got to benefit from all your preparation!

Anonymous said...

I was in the congregation and thought you had planned to use your hands. The entire mass was beautiful and moving and it was obvious that much planning and practice had gone into it.

Pat said...

Father Pf. sang the Exsultet beautifully--he had prepared well. Indeed, he "knows his stuff."

" . . .to fill every moment pouring over all the rubrics and decrees of the bishop . . . " LOL

Anonymous said...

Yes, Father Pfeiffer has a beautiful voice and was very well prepared.