Tuesday, November 3, 2009
The hip-hop pants at the end of the universe
Yesterday I said that the Mass on All Souls' Day was strange. But I underestimated how strange!
I did make it yesterday, to my shock and awe. I went to see my mom first and then I went flying down the Kensington. Which was funny. Because as it turned out the sermon was extremely bleak and it was all about how every day we Buffalonians go flying down the Kensington unmindful of those huge cemeteries we pass. Catholic cemeteries, Protestant cemeteries, Jewish cemeteries, all grouped together out there near Pine Ridge Road. We are not aware that all our rushing around is going to lead us eventually to that same place.
How is that for a thought?
Anyway. After flying down the Kensington oblivious to the cemeteries, I got to Mass in time for the Kyrie, only 10 minutes in, not too bad. I took a seat in the back of the church. Then these people a few pews ahead were bugging me. There was this little girl with them and she was fine and everything, but you know how it is, she kept twisting and turning and whispering and stuff, and I found that distracting. Poor kid, being dragged to this intense and long Latin Mass. So when we got to a part where everyone stood up, I upgraded my seat. I moved up and right. So what if people notice, I thought. They'll get over it.
Then the gentleman two pews in front of me turned around. It was my Facebook friend John Callahan!
I do not know if I mentioned this last week but my Facebook friend John Callahan turned up for my Mass for Leonard Pennario. Now here he was at this one!
But that is not what was strange about this Mass. Here is what was.
They are doing the final blessing around the ... let me get this right .. catafalque.
The priest is walking around shaking the incense, then he sprinkles the catafalque with holy water. And the church is dead silent. It is an unbelievably reverent moment because the coffin stands for all our departed loved ones. And our eyes are all fastened on the priest and the catafalque.
Except for right in my line of sight is this guy in hip-hop pants!
I mean, right between me and the priest!
They looked like the picture at the top of the page! I am not kidding. This kid is maybe 20 and he is in this complete hip-hop outfit including these pants that are down around his rear.
Isn't that strange?
How was I to concentrate on the catafalque?
I wish I could have taken a picture. I have to admit it crossed my mind. It is not as if we do not welcome this kid. I actually think it was kind of beautiful he was there. But afterward we were all giggling about it privately, my Facebook friend John Callahan and I and my other Facebook friend Tim Ecker, who also goes to this Mass. Then we were laughing about how merry we were considering we had just been told where all our rushing around and zooming down the Kensington will eventually take us.
When I got home I told Howard about the hip-hop pants. Howard says it makes sense that the All Souls' Day Mass drew someone like that. He said the kid must have been remembering a fallen gang member.
Howard was surprised that the All Souls' Day Mass did not draw more gang types.
Perhaps in the future we should market it better!