Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yay, me!

I had a wedding this afternoon at another parish, so I had a visiting Priest friend o'mine cover my Saturday evening Mass. I did, however, get back to the parish in time to greet the people as they were leaving Mass.

I went over and stood in the back of the church (which I suppose is really the front of the church) by the doors. In fact, I stood dead center, using my girth to block access to the outside.

I stood, and waited.

Soon, there it was. Just after the moment the celebrant gave the final blessing, they began to come towards me, trying to leave Mass.

And I didn't budge.

In a rare moment of bravery, I said in my best passive-aggressive voice, "Oh no, you can't go yet. Father hasn't left yet."

Soon there was a logjam of humanity. People unable to escape, wondering what was wrong. Thinking, "Every other week we're in our car by now. What gives?"

As I stood my ground, I was trying to figure out why I was so "all of a sudden" brave?

Then it hit me. I didn't not recognize any of them, even though I've been here for 13 months. Week after week they come to Mass and leave early, so I never get the chance to shake their hands before they make for their cars.

Next week, I'll have the Saturday night Mass, and they'll leave early again.

But I did have this afternoon, and it felt great.

Yay, me!


timh said...

Yay you.
You know,
“Judas left early too.”

TWINBB said...

Good for you.

You would think they would want to stay a few minutes to thank Our Lord for the blessings they have just received and to spend a few minutes with the family they have just worshipped with.

Keep up the good work. TY

ken_h said...

Awesome shepherding, Father Jay! Keep up the good work!

ken_h said...

I second that 'yay' - great work, Father Jay!

Keep up the good shepherding and I'm sure it will reap some benefits...

God bless you!

JoAnna Wahlund said...

Way to go, Father!

Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

If you were at our parish you'd have had to be a few minutes earlier--one of our worship sites is notorious for the Post-Communion Exodus. At least 1/5 of the congregation empties out at that time.

But the ones who stay are pretty well trained to hang around until Father leaves--and some even wait until the song's over!

ProudCatholic said...

Very proud of you. One can only hope word gets around there and in other churches.
Doesn't it kill you, when they rush to leave mass early as possible and you see them yacking outside in the parking lot for 20 more minutes.

Unknown said...

Took a lot of courage padre, to stand in front of the stampede. I'm thinking that you made a statement of acknowledgement that just may change some minds next week, and you will be greeting them with a handshake "AFTER" you walk down the aisle after Mass.

Unknown said...

There is a legend in our diocese that one of the priests had ALL his altar services vest one week and told the flock that, if anyone felt the need to leave early, those folks WOULD be escorted by an altar server bearing a lighted candle because, after all, having received the Eucharist and not having been properly dismissed, they were vessels carrying the Precious Body and Blood of Christ. I gather no one left. That might be another tactic.

Then there was a woman in my parish who left early a couple of weeks ago but ended up having to stick around the parking lot because she backed into my car. I had to chuckle at that...just deserts!

So-- good for you! Here's hoping the faithful who do NOT leave early work up the courage to kindly correct/challenge their brothers and sisters who leave early!

teorabelle said...

Wow, amazing how God works his wonders!! Way to go Father Jay...and I liked the hat, too.
It will pay off even if 1 or 2 got the message.

Unknown said...

"using my girth to block access", "logjam of humanity"... I literally lol'd... just glad it wasn't me 0:) Brave AND funny.... I would've caved to the pressure at the last minute... well done!

Brian said...

The Mass is ended, go in peace. Where does it say "after Father?"