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Sunday, February 3, 2013
Today at church it was two great things rolled into one. It was the Feast of St. Blase, when you get your throat blessed. Hmmm, I have always written Blaise, but my missal says Blase.
And also it was the greatest Sunday of the year ...
As I know I have written I even laughed with Leonard Pennario about that. That was when I was discovering the old Church calendar and Leonard loved a joke and so we laughed about, ahem, Sexagesima Sunday.
It means 60 days until Easter. Which is not technically accurate but we are in the countdown until Lent, is what it amounts to.
There were two lines after Mass for the throat blessing. This was at Our Lady Help of Christians. I could not get up early enough to get to St. Anthony's. The priest at Our Lady Help of Christians is a good priest -- he did a marvelous job, I thought, of reading the Epistle. But he himself admits he is old and has had a lot of health problems and gets tired easily now.
Anyway, I inadvertently ended up in his line. I regretted it because there was this other priest helping him out and the other priest looked really cool. He was an older guy too and really austere and you could tell he was passionate about this St. Blase blessing. He would recite it in Latin with his hand on the person's shoulder, and then he would end it by placing his hand on your head. I have never seen anyone do it that way. I kept gazing, fascinated.
But I was in the other line. I really wanted to switch but I was afraid of causing offense. I was almost the last person in line so it would have been conspicuous. Plus as soon as I had the thought the woman behind me in line had it too, and she switched. I hate when that happens!
So I stayed. And here is what happened: I got to the front, and the priest paused before giving me the blessing, as if he were exhausted.
He actually took a breath and goes, "Okay."
As if I were this big pain!
It all made me wonder if this is a purpose I have in life. Perhaps I am here for the mortification of these old priests!
Here they are, all they want is a nap but instead there is me.
Me, standing there smiling in my chapel veil.
"But Father! But Father!"
Ay yi yi.
The good news is, I did get my throat blessing. In Latin. With the i's dotted and the t's crossed.