One Or Five

I played in a bridge tournament this weekend, so my usual five Masses were just one. It felt fresh to come in and play just the 8AM Mass. It was more than the anticipation of leisure and play. I found myself more alert than usual at liturgy. (No napping during the homily, despite only five hours of sleep.)

Many clergy have up to four Masses a weekend. Sometimes the first Mass is the best and most fresh. Sometimes the last is the most practiced. More often one of the liturgies in the middle peaks and the third or fourth homily is off from the best.

Even among volunteers, I see the occasional person who serves at multiple Masses, sometimes in more than one role. When I trained liturgical ministers, I would urge a focus on a single way to serve. I’d rather have excellence focused in one way.

When I was in school, I used to look forward to that one liturgy at which I would play. The same when I’m on retreat. When retirement comes in another decade or so, I think I will be ready for one Mass per weekend for playing music. I wonder if the liturgical-minister-at-every-Mass phenomenon is less than optimal in most situations. Priests too. We don’t have much choice on that score, do we?

What do you think?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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