Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cry Room Chronicles XLVI

This is the last Sunday in Ordinary Country for us, though liturgically it is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. In an effort to make things easier for our trip to Front Royal on Sunday for Father's Day (happy day to all fathers out there), we went to a Saturday vigil Mass. We are currently living in a hotel since all our household items are either on their way to England or in storage. We went to the "local" parish, St. Lawrence Martyr (apologies to anyone who clicked through the link, the web site is pretty bad) for 5 p.m. Mass.

The church is nearly 150 years old and seemingly there's been no expansions or rebuilding. The building is small with narrow pews except for the back one where we sat. That pew had a sign reserving it for people with special needs, e.g. wheelchairs, crutches, etc. I think we fall under "etc." since the children are definitely a handful. At least they cause us to have fewer hands.

We arrived a little early, which allowed Jacob to request a pre-Mass potty break. The bathroom was in another more modern building (circa 1950?) across the parking lot. Mommy took him. About ten minutes after they got back, Jacob said he had more pee-pee. We said he'd have to wait. Later, he asked me if I had to go pee-pee. I was okay and told him I'd wait. Otherwise, Jacob was pretty well behaved.

Lucy, on the other hand, was quite rambunctious and just couldn't keep quiet. We discovered the cry room in this church which also serves as the confessional. Someone had boxed in the back corner of the church and left a big window and glass door so it could also serve as a cry room. Two family had already gone in, but Lucy and I had our turn during the homily. Eventually, I convinced Lucy to whisper and we returned to the church. Five minutes later, we were back in the cry room because she was being too loud. We kept going in and out several times. Lucy started to get upset that she wasn't with Mommy, which helped her to be quiet for a while. It was rough going back and forth so many times, especially since the room didn't have any air conditioning or circulation. It reminded me of "the box" from Bridge on the River Kwai. Hopefully, she's learned her lesson. We'll see what happens next week in England.

Both children were happy to put money in the collection basket when it came. A poor box in the back also received some donations. At one point, Lucy asked to light candles but we forgot at the end of Mass. Jacob didn't forget to go potty one last time.

Father's sermon was mostly lost to me except for some snippets: The readings for this Sunday don't ever use the word "Trinity" and in fact that word is not found in the Scriptures. But many references are made to the triune nature of God: Jesus speaks often of the Father and how He is the Son and how He will send His Spirit afterward. Father talked a bit about the mystery of the Trinity, how it is unfathomable by us. He did have a good quote from Meister Eckhart, which I found here:
‘Do you want to know what goes on in the Heart of the Trinity? I will tell you. In the Heart of the Trinity the Father laughs and gives birth to the Son.
The Son laughs back at the Father and gives birth to the Spirit.
The Trinity laughs and gives birth to us.’
I really like this quote, even though I only heard the last line of it at Mass. Father's version of the last line is "The Trinity laughs and gives birth to creation," which seems more humbling and more accurate to me. God is so full of joy that He can't and won't contain Himself. He wants to share with us. What an awesome thought!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cry Room Chronicles XLV

We were up early again and made it to the 8 a.m. Mass just in time. We headed straight to the pews in front of the organist with a minute to spare. After 45 seconds, Lucy asked to light a candle. The opening announcements were already starting, so I told her that we'd light one after Mass, forgetting the usual stipulation that she be good during Mass.

Things were going smoothly until Jacob realized that he hadn't gone potty yet (attentive readers were sure to notice the omission). So he headed off with Mommy. Lucy came along too. I had plenty of quiet time as the readings were read. They returned during the gospel.

As the homily went on and on, Lucy became more and more chatty. Eventually she refused to whisper and I had to take her out. First, we went to the vestibule, where we saw our friends James and Colin and their parents and infant brother. That didn't last long as Lucy asked to continue the journey. Second, we went to the children's chapel. We turned on the lights and the TV and I heard the last few sentences of the homily. Eventually, Lucy got bored and wanted to see Mommy, who was still upstairs with the nicely docile Jacob. So we turned off the lights and the TV and headed upstairs.

Lucy was still being pretty noisy, so we stayed in the vestibule of the church till Communion time. Lucy was pretty well behaved if not quiet. She tried to pull some books from the book rack but they wouldn't come. A small bar kept the books from falling off the shelf. Lucy didn't know to lift the books up and over the bar before pulling them out. Since it kept her occupied, I didn't explain to her the problem. Is that wrong of me?

The sign of peace came and Lucy was uninterested in shaking my hand. I shook hands with James, Colin, and their parents. James and Colin walked over to Lucy and got her to shake hands. Maybe she knew I could have helped her with the books? Then we headed in for a peaceful communion. We returned to the pew with Mommy and Jacob for the rest of Mass.

After the last song, we lit candles even though Lucy wasn't so well behaved. For the first time, there was a line to light candles! Two other children were in line before us. We waited patiently. I don't know what Lucy prayed for but Jacob prayed for Daddy, which was gratifying. Of course, at first he wanted to pray for candles. We told him to pray for someone, not something. So he chose me. We saw special Bryan on the way out and eventually played on the playground.

It's hard to believe there's only one Sunday left for us here in the USA. Hopefully I'll get to hear the final homily and not be shushing or chasing Lucy.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cry Room Chronicles XLIV

Yesterday we got an early start so we were able to go to our favorite 8 a.m. Mass. We arrived just about on time, so Lucy and I went to get seats while Jacob and Mommy went to the potty.

The early Mass  had an organist and a flautist who seemed to be practicing the music, perhaps for a later Mass. She played very quietly. I only noticed her because we were sitting in front of them. Since Mass had already started, no open pews were available. Lucy and I got in a pew where just one lady was on the end. She moved to the middle. She and Lucy shared smiles with each other quite often.

Things went smoothly till the homily, when Lucy started to get antsy and, more impactfully, noisy. We decided about half way through to head to the children's chapel. It was empty, so Jacob turned on the light and I turned on the TV. Lucy immediately decided she needed a diaper change. I changed her almost dry diaper.

Lucy did her usual wandering and handing out of rosaries and books. Jacob sat in Mommy's lap most of the time. He was barely interested in the sign of peace and we had no collection. By the time we went upstairs for communion, Jacob was ready to go. We received without any problems. I had anticipated we'd stay upstairs so I brought the diaper bag up with us. After communion, we stayed in the vestibule. Jacob discovered a new rack with pamphlets and CDs. He wanted to get some, so he told me the prices. I'm not sure if Mommy told him or he really did read them off the sign. We picked up a couple of pamphlets for 50 cents each.

We saw special Bryan and got to talk to him. After Mass was over, we headed off to the playground where we met up with Timmy, Kim, and Luke. We chatted with them. They too are moving at the end of the month, but only two blocks. We are moving to England and are getting close to the departure. Only two more Sundays until we are going to church in England! I can't believe how fast time is flying.

Did I say Lucy was really chatty during the homily? And we went to the cry room? I hope for better luck next week.