Monday, January 9, 2012

"But I Haven't Gone All the Way Around Yet, Mommy"

Monday greetings to all.

Yesterday, at our Epiphany Mass at Saint James, something wonderful and, in a word, "cute," occurred.

The sharing of the sign of peace at Saint James is a bit more extended than in most parishes. People have no qualms about walking across our "hall" (our church building has been closed for over two years) to share the sign of peace with friends and neighbors. Since we are all gathered around the altar, placed at the center of the hall, there is a general feeling of closeness throughout the liturgy. Well, after the sign of peace was concluded (or so we all thought), the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion had lined up in their appropriate places and the Lamb of God was sung and concluded. It was then that I noticed a young boy of about three or four, carrying a little canvas backpack. He was walking up to each of the extraordinary ministers and touching their hands and smiling at them. He also grasped the hands of all who were seated in the front rows. It was one of those disarming moments of charm. His little round face, wearing the cutest smile, was simply too cute for words. When his embarrassed mother came forward to carry him away, he looked at her with tears in his eyes and said simply, "But I haven't gone all the way around yet, Mommy."

That experience, coupled with one of the most extraordinary piano improvisations (to the Hymn "We Three Kings) after communion, just made the entire Christmas season for me. I feel so blessed to be a Catholic and a member of Saint James Parish on the Chicago's near south side.

Do you have any "cute" stories to share; something out of the ordinary that has occurred at your parish?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


PatGLex said...

Not necessarily a cute story, but an observation on one of our traditions. My parish has been doing a "presentation" of the gifts of the Three Kings for decades, between the prayers of the faithful and the preparation of the gifts. The kings are 70s-era oversized "puppets" that take three people to manipulate: huge papier mache heads with fabric "bodies" on poles, with stuffed arms attached to sticks to gesture. The Holy Family is real; a parish family with a new baby. The Kings are presented to the congregation, then to the family, with separate attendants carrying a banner and the box/flask of the gift.

We had some visiting college students on their way to a mission trip, and I wondered what they thought of the performance, and also, why we still did it, since it was so last century. :-) But then I looked in the congregation, at all the young children watching in rapt wonder, and found my answer. It is still a meaningful tradition, and I hope it remains.

Maureen Grisanti Larison said...

We celebrated Baptisms this weekend at my parish, with one infant on Saturday evening and three on Sunday morning. At the Saturday Vigil Mass, just after our pastor anointed the infant with the Sacred Chrism, a small, clear voice near the font (I'm guessing it was a young cousin, who appeared to be about 3 or 4 years old) cried out "I want some!"...much to everyone's amusement and delight.

I wonder how many of us forget that sense of urgency and desire in our own sacramental lives? It was funny, yes, but also provided a moment for reflection.