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Friday, May 14, 2010

The Annoyed Man in White

So, OK, maybe I shouldn't have preached about those "annoying men in white," but I was advised to keep it short, and was hoping to get people's attention. That I did (or didn't), but not exactly in the way I'd hoped.

Back in the days when I was an altar boy, I used to find it a bit shocking that the priest could get angry about what did (or didn't) happen at Mass. Priests weren't supposed to get angry. I was reminded of this, because I almost lost it yesterday. The new lavalier microphone wasn't switching on and off properly. I had to keep pulling it out to check it, because the switch was jamming and then, even still, it didn't seem to be working right. So, the congregation, and the web audience, were only able to hear some of that part of the mass. This was distracting enough.

Add to that that twice in the course of the mass, I was informed that we were going to do this, instead of that (presumably because of the significant number of latecomers arriving). This largely involved Communion, so suddenly the altar was crowded with vessels that weren't originally supposed to be there, leaving me to have to try to organize the mess in some way. And did I mention that I was told before the mass that they wanted to finish in about 35 minutes?! Pressure, distraction and disruption made it very hard to celebrate the Ascension. Instead, I was frustrated and angry. It took a grand effort not to shout at the liturgy coordinator after mass. Instead, after making the strong effort to pleasantly greet people as they left, I more or less just got out of there, and tried to collect myself.
Up there with those "annoying men in white," was one annoyed man in white. Me.

These days I understand better why, when I was a young altar boy, Father wasn't always perfect, and sometimes not even nice.