Monday, July 6, 2015

Maria Goretti and other musings

I thank y'all for your patience as I try to hone my "blogger voice."  I promise to get away from the minute-by-minute recaps that have been my entire blog up until now.  My two readers will appreciate, I'm sure ;)  also, I'm breaking my promise of photos, since I'm still experimenting with the phone-to-computer transfers.

Today's the feast of St. Maria Goretti, which I was informed of this morning at daily Mass.  She's always been one of my faves, so it was a nice surprise to find out today's her feast day.  I'm trying to find us a parish and the "church shopping" is already wearing on me.  I knew when I was in Arlington and in the Cathedral Choir that we did have something special, and I hope it was clear that I didn't take that for granted.


The parishes here have been okay, so far.  I knew a while ago that I didn't want to join Kamil's parents' church, which is far enough away that we have that excuse anyway.  But the modernistic uber-white decor + tone deaf children's choir (ranging in ages 6 to 16) was another deciding factor.  And I definitely appreciate that so far none of the parishes out here seem to encompass a Kumbayah, social justice obsessed (ignoring the HUGE social justice destruction in the womb...), "greet your neighbor" kind of thing, but I'm still searching.  And I didn't think I'd be searching so long.

When I moved to Arlington, I went to the Cathedral for Sunday Mass exactly once before I decided it could be home.  Here, so far?  I've attended two daily Masses and one Sunday Mass at the closest church, have attempted two daily Masses at another, and just came from a third parish.  Tomorrow has number four on the list... it's St. Anthony's... ironic, no? (Lord, help me find one!)

The parish near us is cute and nice, but it's also suggesting that at one time it was a beautiful simple country parish that was tragically gutted in the aftermath of Vatican II.  No organ or piano, no stained glass, no icons larger than 8 x 10.  And the strangest thing?  It's a capital "L" shape, with one part of the L used for daily Mass, and the other side more popular for Sunday Mass.  So. Weird!

The second parish is St. Margaret of Scotland which I thought could be cool since it's my patron saint.  But I have now tried TWICE to get to a daily Mass service, only to find that this parish thinks it's hip and cool to vary the times of Mass every day.  And the whole no-daily-Mass-on-Thursdays-in-July-and-August-thing seems weird and frustrating.  Priests have to celebrate Mass every day, no?  I see no legitimate excuse for skipping this.  It's a 30-minute service at most.

So of course one of my attempts was last Thursday and then today I get up early after a long LONG weekend at the ER and hospital (don't ask) to make it for the 8am service.... to find out it's at 9am on MWF.  It's only at 8 on Tuesdays and Thursdays and, as we remember, NO services on Thursdays at all for two months for some reason.  I took today's experience as a sign to give up on this parish for now.  We'll see if I'm up for the challenge later of checking and re-checking Mass times before making the trek out again.

Since 8am Mass this morning was a bust, I decided to check out a third parish for their 9am service.  It's been my favorite so far, since there was lots of a capella singing for a daily Mass which I am all over (although, awkward when the lady leading the four of us in singing Gift of Finest Wheat for communion went horribly out of key...). kneelers.  All chairs without little kneelers in both the side chapel and main church.  I'm sorry but I cannot get over no kneelers.  When our Lord is making Himself present in the Eucharist right in front of us, I want to be able to prostrate in worship without feeling like some overzealous minority.

Wow, this is a long post just on parishes...

So, now what?  Now I'll try that fourth parish tomorrow and I guess we'll see how it goes.  It's also hard being summertime and not being able to get a good sense of how the parish life is since most parish activities peace out more or less once school's out of session.  And I'm not sure how to go about introducing myself to cantor.  I guess I hope that I'll sound good enough at a Mass that people will just tell me I should join or something.  I know, I should make more effort, etc. etc.

Anyway, that's the big thing facing me right now.  Time to try to finally balance our checkbook once and for all and get things more organized around here.  And our ice maker is on the fritz so I get to have some human interaction today. ;)



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