That’s the liturgical cusp between Advent and Christmas. Concord Pastor comments on his ten liturgies in sixty-seven hours. Many musicians and liturgists had no less a demanding time the past few days. My organist, Elisabeth had five Advent Masses on the weekend, plus five more for the Christmas observances–that’s 10 in 68. We did give the two adult choirs the weekend off to prepare for the Nativity.
Some parishioners love the involvement. My friend Julie sings in the Celebration Choir (6PM Eve) and came back for more in my annual pick-up choir (Midnight) and in the Women’s Group appearance 9AM Christmas morning.
In the music department, I had time to focus on a rehearsal and two Masses. I was sacristan for the Eve 6 and 8. Behind the scenes, we troubleshot the hum in the north speaker and fixed it, but then our last wireless mic failed Christmas morning. Doesn’t it always happen the one Mass for which I came in late (even a liturgist’s daughter will not delay opening gifts) has the problem?
The topping on the sundae for me was a visit to Crittenton to sing songs with the little kids and do music for an afternoon chapel service with the teens.
Concord Pastor and my organist were my Christmas heroes this year, but my line-up in seventy-three hours wasn’t too bad: two choirs at Mass, two sacristan stints, one sing-along, one chapel service, two lock-ups, one rehearsal, one worship space set-up in the school auditorium, and a lot of “staff presence” in between.
My situation is both fortunate and unfortunate compared to clergy. Unlike priests, I have the freedom to delegate essential elements of my ministry. Elisabeth is a marvelous organist and pianist. She can play as much as her energy permits. My Art & Environment Committee only need to be encouraged to dream big and then let go to do it. I can focus on things that really need attention and fill in the gaps when a parishioner gets sick or when misfortune arises.
On the other hand, I worked Christmas Eve straight through, noon to past midnight for the sixth year in a row. It’s harder to delegate the welcoming and accommodation of visiting clergy, not to mention the little problem that come up that need fixing before the next crowd arrives.
Today we have an afternoon wake, then Bishop Finn comes for the annual Serra Club/seminarian Mass. Two funerals tomorrow. Then two meetings on Friday. Otherwise, the rest of the week will be spent with family. Once they arise from slumber, that is. Usually it takes me till the third night of Christmas to get that really deep sleep.