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.

5 comments:

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!!

~Jenny

Sister Mary Martha said...

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

A Simple Sinner 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.

phasey_1976 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