Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Unexpected Prayer

Yesterday afternoon I showed up at Trinity expecting to say Mass. The altar book (missal) was already in place, so I decided to set the ribbons first thing. Every priest is kind of idiosyncratic about this--I typically follow the pattern I learned from Fr. Harold:
  • White Propers of the Day
  • Yellow Ordinary of the Mass
  • Green Proper Preface
  • Red Eucharistic Prayer
  • Purple The Lord's Prayer
  • BlueBlessings and Dismissal

As I was doing this, a gray haired man came up to me and said, "I already set those." Not sure if he was an over-ambitious acolyte or a priest I said, "But I'm the Celebrant, right?" It turns out we were both booked for yesterday! I decided to yield to my elder brother, and I'm glad I did.

You see, it's actually rare that I get to just worship in an intimate chapel setting without having some kind of responsibility for something. So I received the gift of the opportunity to worship with the students gratefully. As it turns out, I experienced quite a nice relaxed prayerfulness during this liturgy. These kinds of daily chapel services are precious and it's a great honor to be able to participate. Being there made me a little homesick for Holy Cross, though. I kept thinking about how their daily Eucharist compares.

After the liturgy I spoke to a woman who was contemplating the new Pascal Candle in the Trinity Chapel. I noted that it was the exact same one that we had purchased this year. She said it was pretty and then I said that I was looking for a worthy destiny for last year's candle. She lit up and said that I could give it to her to send to the Caribbean. Beeswax candles are expensive there and so many Anglican churches would love to have our old candles. This strikes me as a great idea--and it's neat how a random encounter after worship produced it.


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