Monday, April 19, 2010

Curmudgeon reaches the "usher" stage of life

Long Suffering Spouse and I went to our nephew's Confirmation on Saturday morning.

The sacrament was administered at a small parish church up in Lake County; you'll pardon my being vague about the location. The point is, it's not my home church. I don't go there. I don't know anyone there other than my wife's sister and my wife and her sister are not always on the best of terms. I haven't been in that building since a one of my nieces received her First Communion; that was three years ago.

It's probably just a Catholic thing, but I've been at lots of First Communions, weddings or confirmations where the celebrant will look out over the packed church and make some remark about how the pastor was really kicking himself for not passing the [collection] basket. The line always gets a good laugh, particularly if the pastor is up on the altar concelebrating and especially if he blushes.

Non-Catholics may be scratching their heads a little on this. But there is something about putting a man in a dress that makes his jokes funnier.

This is not just a religious thing: Jokes told by judges in court are always funnier than the same jokes told anywhere else. At least if one measures the hearty guffaws that follow the joke told in court vis a vis the same joke told at a restaurant, for example, or on the train going home.

And look what wearing a dress did for the career of Milton Berle!

Anyway, at my sister-in-law's parish, if you followed the link, you saw that they actually did pass the basket at my niece's First Communion. I'd never seen that done anywhere else at a special Mass held for the purpose of conferring a Sacrament.

I was not surprised, then, Saturday morning that a collection would be taken up at my nephew's Confirmation Mass. I was, however, surprised, when I got tapped on the shoulder to help.

I helped out of course. I've been called upon fairly frequently in my own parish to help out with the ushering chores, particularly at the last Sunday morning Mass.

I didn't realize, though, until we were going home and Long Suffering Spouse put it into focus for me: I've crossed a threshold here. I look like an usher now, she told me, as gently as she could. And it isn't just among us Catholics that ushers are the old duffers....


1 comment:

Kacey said...

Shucks, you are only old enough to look like an usher in the Catholic Church. My hubby has been an Elder in a large Christian Missionary Alliance Church for many years. Imagine his chagrin when one of the other Elders suggested that they needed some younger men to be Elders. Isn't that an oxymoron? Anyway, he really feels badly about being too old to be a Elder. That's old! You have just reached the dignified stage. Praise the Lord and Pass the Plate!