Friday, August 15, 2008

Decoration Withdrawal Syndrome

OK, so it's probably not a disease I can sue anyone for, but I can still consider myself a victim, can't I?

For the ten years of my Priesthood, I've always been assigned to parishes that had side altars to Our Lady.  So for the feast days, I enjoyed decorating these altars.  But now I'm in a place that neither has side altars, nor seems to have flowers in the church.  Since I've only been here for about six weeks, I promised myself I'd sit back and not do anything, waiting to see whether the parish buys flowers, or whether parishioners bring flowers themselves.

Last night and this morning I got my answer.  Neither happens, and I've got the shakes because I want to run to the store and get some flowers.  Of course, the shakes could be the 4-shot espresso iced coffee I'm chugging.

I miss simple piety.  One of my friends is pastor of a parish in Maryland.  Over the past few days, leading up to today, his parishioners bring flowers from their gardens (and probably more than a few supermarkets' flower departments).  They take a personal ownership in decorating Our Lady for her feast day.  Of course, I've also seen other places in which the attitude is, "What a shame no one decorated that statue.  Of course, I'm much too busy to do such a thing, but someone in the parish should do it."

I always liked decorating the altars.  For someone who'll never have biological children, I always felt it was something akin to what parents do when they put presents under a Christmas tree, and then wait to see their childrens' expressions of surprise when they see it all in front of them.  Some flowers here, a few candles there, the occasional reliquary, and -boom- Catholic joy!

Who knows?  Our Lady's birthday is coming up.  Maybe then.


Neuropoet said...

Maybe if you sneak in flowers when no one else is around everyone will just assume that "someone else" thought to bring them... :)

Happy Feast of the Assumption!!


Sister Mary Martha said...

You are suffering from Catholic tradition withdrawal. What's next, the Advent Wreath?

Unknown said...

Sounds like PURE Providence to me!

You have been placed there to share with the parish-folk the simple joy of piously "doing it up".

Show 'em, Fadder!

Anthony said...

Let us know what you're up to and the family and I will be glad to stop by with some flowers.

Sarah said...

Wow - two days from now is Our Lady's birthday and I was wondering what I could do that was special. Thanks for a great idea, Father. What a "coincidence" that I happened to come across your blog today, Father. --Sarah