Yesterday, January 1, was the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God. We decided to split up for Mass since the childrens' sleep schedules were not conducive to going as a family. I went to a 10 a.m. Mass at a parish whose name will be withheld to protect their identity. You will see why in the following paragraphs...
Mass was going along just fine until the lector came up for the second reading. He started with, "Since I read the second reading first by accident, I will now read the first read. May God have mercy on me!" Which got a good laugh from the congregation. Father then referenced the mix-up in his homily, which brought more humor.
During the offertory, Father asked if someone back by the gifts could bring them up to the altar. I was sitting towards the back and saw a family look around and get up to help Father out. I turned back around and saw some of the altar servers moving into position and one of them going to a side table near the altar. I realized the family wasn't going up with the gifts yet. Turning around, I saw standing around with quizzical looks on their faces. Father's voice came from up front, "Whoops, the gifts are already up here. Thanks for offering to bring up the gifts." The family sat down again while the one clued-in server was bringing out the bread and wine.
I was surprised that no collection took place. At the end of Mass, Father said that the deal between the church and the ushers' union was that they'd get 10 a.m. Mass off on New Year's Day, so if anyone brought an offering there'd be baskets at the doors as you left. Once he got to the back of the church, he profusely thanked the family that didn't get to bring up the gifts and wish everyone a blessed and more organized new year.
[Editor's note: In case anyone is suspicious, the only fictionalized part of the above story is the last five words. We do suspect that Father was fibbing about the ushers' union and that God will have mercy on the lector.]