Last Sunday I got through an entire Mass without being... "inspired"... to write a blog post. No one placed their whole hand on my tongue. I made a point of not looking at the missal so I wouldn't get upset that we weren't using the actual psalm for the day (I did that again today!). And during today's Mass I tried to ignore the fact that there were three elderly couples sitting together who would jerk their heads around in unison to glare at Mae if she so much as sighed.
Okay, so maybe a bit of the godzilla I've been repressing in other instances peaked out. I glared back (they didn't see me. They were too busy giving my twelve month old death glares while she was held silently by her father). Paul was standing at the back with Mae Bae, who does better away from me during Mass, and was ready to take her out if she made acted up.
In my opinion glaring just because a baby is present in the parish is directly related to the fact that some churches have such a hard time getting families to attend. She did make several giggly, happy baby sounds during Mass. I'm surprised none of the members of the glare-committee (one of whom was an usher: "Hi, welcome to Saint Joe's!") didn't have to be carried out as a result.
There has been an interesting development in our parish these past two weeks. It seems that we now have Eucharistic Bouncers. Two men stand at the front of the church, one behind the priest and the other behind one of the Eucharistic ministers and they watch and make sure that the Eucharist is consumed. Paul and I had noticed that it seemed like more and more hosts were being dropped each week. I'm not sure if it's related and I do wonder if an event inspired this change. Either way it seems like they're being very careful these days.
Besides the Eucharistic bouncers, our parish has ushers who walk up to the front and make sure that everyone stays orderly in the communion lines. I do, kind of wonder, why our parish feels that it's necessary to have an entire flock of Extraordinary Ministers crowd around the altar at every weekend Mass.
Do we really need eight people down there so that no one has to stand in line for more than two and a half minutes? Would it be the end of the world if people stood in line for four minutes to receive from the priest or deacon? I mean, I understand having extra people on a holiday or if there's an actual need, but there just doesn't seem to be a need. Why draw out every other part of Mass with show-tunes only to rush through the main event?
There is a reason for my attitude about this (which you probably already guessed). Sadie and I were seated in the back this morning after the entire family woke up late and barely made it to Mass and we moved over next to Paul and Mae when everyone got in line.
This put us at the very end of the priest's line, which I prefer, since Monsignor isn't going to panic when he sees someone receiving on the tongue (and he was the one saying Mass today! I love his Masses!). Quite a few people moved over, into the priest's line, and most of those who we let go in front of us were in the 90+ age range, who had slowly made their way over to the line.
As we neared the front the Eucharistic Minister's line ran out of people and the usher tried to force the elderly in our line over to him. They refused. He gestured for anyone to move over. A few went right away, but no one else would (again, I was apparently in fine form this morning and actually shook my head as he tried to make us move over... I was really annoyed at the way he was treating the people in front of us... it reminded me of a school yard bully...). He finally walked through the line and went over himself, obviously annoyed with us all (which was actually more evident later, when we left the church).
I know, I know, it's the same Eucharist. But I'd rather not have the distraction of having someone put their whole hand on my tongue, or dropping the Eucharist because they're so horrified at the thought of someone receiving on the tongue. And I know Monsignor isn't going to be wearing a bottle of perfume that will be coating the Eucharist by the time it makes it's way into my mouth. Maybe it's just the pregnancy hormones making me extra picky? Probably not. I think I'd be bothered, pregnant or not...