Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Delightful Surprise

Our local parish has always been decent, but honestly, it looks like a hospital. Everything is white and plain (it was an early 1990s complete rebuild of a 1950s Church - not a lot to work with). The tabernacle is raised up and relatively in the front, but to the side of the altar. The priest and altar servers sit in a half-circle shaped area under a little dome behind the altar. There's nothing on the wall behind them. Though a processional cross is placed on the altar during Mass, we've felt the lack of the focal point of a crucifix during the Mass (there's a statue of the resurrected Jesus way off to one side on the wall and a statue of the Holy Family on the far side. Because it's kind of a sideways-facing Church, the "front" wall is extremely wide.). The lovely crucifix from the old Church is presently located on the side wall of the Narthex/vestibule (with some nice votive candles underneath).

Anyway. We got a new pastor this summer and he's really great. Solid, engaging and gives the BEST sermons. One of the first things he did when he came to our parish was to pray with the Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours each weekday morning with anyone who was interested. Nice!

But what happened this morning at Mass blew me away. First of all, very diplomatically, he made the announcement that he's interested in making a few changes to the church and was open to input from everyone. That got everyone's attention! :)

He had some background explanation (which was at the same time diplomatic, practical and spiritually helpful), but basically what he wants to do is move the tabernacle to the central area behind the altar. (John and I, surprised, smiled at each other.) He wants to move the priest's chair to the place where the tabernacle was. Next, even more cautiously, he explained that when he started talking to the parish council about the whole idea, they were also interested (and he thought it was a great idea) in moving the big beautiful old crucifix from the Narthex (duh!) to the front of the Church. I could hear a bunch of people around me whispering "Yes! Yes!" and suddenly the entire congregation erupted into applause. It was truly an amazing moment (I cried.).


Melanie B said...

Oh that is delightful.

Katherine said...

Well, now you are just going to have to post photos!

Suzanne Temple said...

Welcome to the springtime in the Church. Wonderful!

Marla said...

Very cool!