Tuesday, June 16, 2009

serving God at the altar

Our parish had a surprise this past Sunday when we read the bulletin and found that Bishop Peter Elliott of Melbourne, Australia was saying Mass. He gave a wonderful and orthodox homily on the banquet feast of Holy Communion. When he was introduced to the parishioners afterwards in the social hall one of the ladies asked me, "Can Will serve Mass tomorrow and Tuesday for Bishop Elliot?"

Unlike our former parish, St. Benedict's in Chesapeake, VA, where 15-20 boys rotate serving duties, our parish here only has 2-3 servers so Will serves every week we are in town. I agreed that we would be there and made sure he practiced the responses and gestures that evening. When we arrived before Mass on Monday he found out that no one else was available to serve and he would be doing it alone for the very first time. All my prayers were for my son that he would do his best and glorify God in his actions and words. I especially held my breath after the Sanctus that he would not forget to ring the bell once at the Hanc Igitur (not that the ceiling would come crashing in if he didn't, but I wanted it to be perfect).

After Mass everyone congratulated Will on his fine job and I suggested that doughnuts would be a fitting treat for everyone. While we were sitting at the kitchen table chomping away, Charlie asked, "Is Will going to be a priest soon?" I can only hope and pray that God grant one of our children a vocation to the priesthood or religious life.


meg said...

Lovely! Good for Will. A Bishop, no less!

I was unprepared for the joy that filled my heart when my son served for the first time recently at a low Mass. His little brother can't wait to get up there now, too. Joy!

We also pray for vocations. I just finished reading Story of a Family about the homelife of St. Therese. All five of their children (all girls) went into the religious life, and one of course was St Therese.

Anonymous said...

I found this poem on a blog and thought you might like it.
Laura at St. B's

This is a poem from Long Skirt's book entitled A Breath of Home
You can visit her website.

Five Sons

Today, five sons,
Served on the altar.
Determined boys
Who would not falter.

Boys, at home,
Who fight and shove
But on the altar
Assist with love.

At home shouting,
From top of lung.
On the altar,
Latin’s sung.

At home running
Can’t sit still.
On the altar
Disciplined will.

At home throwing
Cereal, toast.
On the altar
Adoring Host.

At home bedrooms,
Scattered scene.
On the altar
Order, serene.

I, proud, mother,
Faithful to Rome,
Five sons on the altar,
Five men at home.