Sunday, August 27, 2006

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

Good evening.

Today is, as the title indicates, the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Ordinary time simply means 'ordered' or 'numbered'. It does not mean 'unremarkable' or 'boring'. Sundays which are not in Ordinary Time are in other seasons of the Church calendar which would be Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter seasons. In that case a Sunday would be called "The Fourth Sunday in Lent" or something like that.

It comes as a surprise to many that there is no 'First Sunday' in ordinary time. I do not know why. Many a new liturgical minister has been befuddled by this!

Today is the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, but we were blessed today with a Mass that was not at all ordinary.

We had three priests and a deacon celebrating Mass. And it wasn't a wedding or funeral. This is rather unusual at any rate, but in our military chapel it is exceedingly rare for many reasons. The priest who was the main celebrant even commented on how unusual it is for all these men to be ANYWHERE at the same time!

This is the first time I"ve seen our new deacon, who is still in the process of moving in. He was ordained less than a month ago. It is also the first time I've seen a deacon 'in action'. There are specific parts of the Mass reserved for deacons.

I will also add that there are two types of deacons. Temporary deacons are men on their way to Ordination as a priest. Permanent Deacons are men who may be married with families. By their ordination they make the statement that they will not re-marry if their wife dies. This is similar to the priests in the Eastern Rite churches. Once they are ordained, they may not marry.

It was a lovely Mass today. Father commented that it would be hard to claim a vocations shortage here.

With our one altar server, who is also an adult, it made for an all-male team in the sanctuary, which is all too rare.

We in the choir numbered only four, and even then that was only when both my husband and I were not being called upon to tend to our little one! Nonetheless, I gather we sounded pretty good. We got applause after Mass.

I do NOT like getting applause. The glory is to be to God. We are not entertainment. But still, it feels nice. Did that make any sense?

Our music leader has been making heavy use of a few songs over the past couple of weeks. The small congregation is slowly learning them and starting to sing better. There was a fellow here this week visiting his daughter who was a wonderful, if temporary, addition to the musical side of the congregation. We decided he had to join the choir, but unfortunately it would be too long a commute!

All in all I came away feeling particularly blessed today. I hope this feeling oozes out to the community so they will join us!

God Bless