Sunday, February 28, 2010

Double Duty

Normally, if a lay person has a formal role during the liturgy (i.e. cantor, lector, acolyte), that is the only duty which is performed.

At the 11:15 AM Mass today, normal had to be thrown out an open stain glass window.

When it came time to proclaim the readings, everybody realized what was never apparent during the procession.

There was no lector.

It was rather awkward moment.

What to do?

Well, the priest looked around, seeing who may have been there to cover. When he glanced over to his left, where the choir loft was located, he had his answer.

I was the cantor. I made eye contact with him and mouthed, "I'll do it." I gathered the book I use for the Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation and went to the ambo.

Fortunately for me, I had four things going for me. First and foremost, the Spirit was with me. Second, I assisted at a Vigil Mass in another parish, so the readings were still fresh in my mind. Third, I have had plenty of practice proclaiming "cold", doing it sometimes as many as three times a week during two cycles of Advent and Lenten weekday Masses a few years ago. Finally, I had done this unexpected "double" before, so I was not in unfamiliar territory.

I finished my parts of the Liturgy of the Word. After the proclamation of the Gospel, I went back to the sacristy and retrieved the General Intercessions and announcements. When the Liturgy of the Eucharist began, I went back to the cantor's podium for the rest of Mass.

I think everybody was grateful I did volunteer. I received a few compliments afterward; nice strokes to the ego, but I was just glad to have done it. Believe me, I wasn't looking for praise.

I thank God for giving me the ability and the courage to assist in worshiping Him on such short notice.

I hope it doesn't happen again for a long time.

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