A Note from Father Vince
Here we are in mid-July. My homily last Sunday was basically on ‘sadness’. It’s the one that got the most responses back to me. That tells you where we are at if a talk on sadness is a hit! But it’s true. In Polk and Dallas Counties, we are struggling to flatten our curve. The Governor today was skeptical about our chances. Now we are anxiously fearing having to go back to staying at home. I’m happy I’m not a superintendent who can’t win no matter what they decide about school.
My family reunion for the 1
weekend of August is off. We’re all too old to gather. How pathetic! Now I’m here for that weekend. Steve, my brother priest from Dubuque, and I are still going on Sunday. I purchased an expensive vase that is a traveling trophy for those celebrating 50 years of marriage. (pronounced voz, not vace if it’s over $300). My brother Dick and wife Mary Ann received it a few years ago. Last year was brother Dave and wife Liz. So they have the vase. My brother Tony and wife Pat are this year. They live in Phoenix and aren’t coming. And we are not sending him the vase. You have to be present to win. So we’re stalled, with I and my sister Kate and Mike, closing in on the magic number. We plan on getting the vase in the proper year, no matter who has it last! So don’t chip it!
We’ve had several hundred parishioners who participated in the live-stream mass or watched it later. Our in-person masses have been between 40-70 people. So that’s not surprising. We are kind of in neutral gear for the foreseeable future.
You may have noticed the sanctuary is set up a little differently. There is a reason for this actually---beyond what any individual priest may prefer; myself or anyone else. The liturgical norms in the U.S. talk about the fact that the presider and the congregation are in relationship with one another as one community. That relationship needs to be visual in at least two unique ways:
*the altar table should not have an obstructed view between celebrant and congregation, which includes additional candles and crosses, *the celebrant’s chair should be visible to the congregation for the prayers that are proclaimed there.
They are important because, by their nature, it makes the liturgy more open and participatory.