I attended 1pm Palm Sunday Mass today with my father. We went to the church where my BFFL [best friend for life], Kristen, cantors. She stands in front of the alter and leads the congregation in song. To inform the audience when to sing she outstretches her arm and lifts her hand, palm up. I have no idea how she doesn’t crack up laughing, especially when I try my best to make her.
This is us after the Mass. We met in the parking lot. I am the person holding the palms, Kristen is the one with her eyes closed.
My father and I sit in the third row from the front. We are in Kristen’s direct view. Every time Kristen and I make eye contact, I almost burst out laughing and look away quickly. Kristen holds back a smile and continues to sing. I am highly impressed at her control. I have no capacity to hold in laughter. I have never won a staring contest. I am always the first to laugh.
For her birthday, I brought Kristen a long, silver necklace with music-related charms. I borrowed the necklace months ago and keep “forgetting” to give it back. I wore the necklace today to Mass. When Kristen looked in my direction, I held up the necklace. It dangled as I shook it. She again smiled and continued singing “This Little Light of Mine”.
The congregation was kneeling for a sacred part of the Mass. When it was time to stand, I glanced at Kristen and saw her turn to her right and gesture to help up the older woman next to her. It was nice of Kristen to do. Kristen and I made eye contact at that exact moment and I saw Kristen laugh. I smiled in triumph.
There was a woman seated on the bench ahead of us, directly in front of my Father and I. Her sons sat at her left and right. I estimate one son was 10, the other 8. I was shocked to see the 8-year-old play with his IPAD 1 for the entire hour long Mass. He didn’t even try to hide it. He played a game where he had to physically move the device to move the game. When the woman next to me kneeled, the kid bumped into the her folded hands multiple times. It was distracting. I’d be in the middle of asking God for a salary increase at work, when I would catch sight of the IPad screen. The kid was playing a game where he had to tap the screen to slice falling vegetables.
I wanted the priest to throw a pop quiz and ask the kid a question related to something he preached about. Of course, the child wouldn’t know the answer due to lack of paying attention. He, his mother, and his 10-year-old brother [who was reading a thick Harry Potter book] would be embarrassed in front of everyone. I just wanted the kid to absorb some of what was going on. During the Mass, I took out my IPhone and texted all my friends about how outraged I was.
Catholics are expected to go to Mass on a weekly basis, but I do not. I used to in high school and sporadically in college. Since graduating, I barely go. I went today because it was Palm Sunday and because Kristen kept texting me, “Come to my 1pm Mass. Please please please please please.” I was impessed at the changes I saw at the Church. For example, the priest was pushed down the aisle on a moving dolly, the communion wafer is now offered in a “Whole Wheat” option, and for your sip of wine you can choose between “Merlot” and “Sauvignon Blanc”. I of course chose the my favorite, Sauvignon Blanc.