Week 277

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I
Is 6:1-2a, 3-8
Responsorial Psalm
Ps 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8
Reading II
1 Cor 15:1-11 or
1 Cor 15:3-8, 11
Gospel
Lk 5:1-11

This week I chose to drive an hour and a half to a city I had visited several times earlier. However, I neglected to make adequate plans and found myself reversing course. I finally landed in a small parish in the shadow of Manhattan. The building is small and square, with a 1966 cornerstone, and again forced round on the inside. The roof is pyramid-style with a spire and some skylights. Pan-like chandeliers hang from it along with a number of white ceiling fans. The stained-glass windows are high and narrow and depict various saints in slightly abstract style. The rest of the walls are of dark brick. The sanctuary is at one corner, with the metal tabernacle at the left, the ambry just to the left of the celebrant's chair, and the organ at the far right. The marble ambo is at the left, the altar is at the center and slightly to the rear, and the cantor's lectern is at the right. A large figure of the Risen Christ is on the wall behind the celebrant's chair. The wooden pews are in four sections. The racks are empty; instead, the Music Issue/Today's Missal combination is stacked on the window sills (once again, I neglected to obtain one beforehand; I hate this practice precisely because I almost always forget to get one-- and the racks are there anyway, so what is the harm of having the hymnals in the racks?).

The 1:00 PM Mass began with the opening hymn, "All The Ends of the Earth," which the organist started to play even as the cantor was announcing it. Four lay ministers of Holy Communion, a reader, and the priest participated in the entrance procession. The priest used Form C of the Penitential Rite. We recited the Gloria.

The reader gave the first reading from the ambo without incident. The cantor led the responsorial psalm from the cantor's lectern. Then the reader gave the long form of the second reading. We sang the Alleluia and the priest proclaimed the Gospel from the ambo. His homily was somewhat brief but still challenging, beginning with the question, "What if Peter refused to cast his net? Look what he would have missed." Mention was made of Isaiah and Paul's unworthiness but willingness to do God's work, and the closing question was, "When God calls us, will we have the faith to follow Him?"

The priest invited those celebrating a wedding anniversary this month to stand for the monthly blessing of such people, but no one stood, so this had to be skipped. We recited the Creed, and then the reader led the intentions of the Prayer of the Faithful from the cantor's lectern. Two collections were taken using handleless wicker baskets passed across the pews; the second was announced as being for "parish assessments." The offertory hymn was "Lord, You Have Come to the Water." The chalice and ciboriums were of metal. The cruet holding the remaining wine was a bit larger than the usual cruet but not large enough to qualify as a flagon, but in any case the priest used that for the wine to be consecrated for the congregation. Maybe I missed it but I don't think I saw him add any water to either the chalice or the cruet; perhaps one of the lay ministers, who sat alongside him and functioned as servers, did this while I wasn't paying attention. (The collection is always a distraction, especially when you have to watch for the basket from both directions.) At the Orate Fratres, no one in the congregation stood until the congregation's response was complete.

The Mass setting was one relatively unfamiliar to me and one which I cannot identify. The priest offered the second Eucharistic Prayer; the two lay ministers standing right behind him throughout in the small sanctuary did not look right. We sang the second Memorial Acclamation. At the Our Father, which we recited, the lay ministers, cantor, and reader joined hands, but almost nobody in the congregation cared for that example. The Sign of Peace was short and dignified.

At Holy Communion, the priest distributed from the ciborium to the lay ministers but they were left to self-communicate from the chalice on the altar. Two stations were located at the center aisle and one on one side aisle, with an additional two stations for the chalice, one of which was shared by two lines. The Communion hymn was "Come to the Water."

After Communion, the priest offered the closing prayer and made a quick announcement about the archdiocesan annual appeal before imparting a simple blessing and leaving via the center aisle. The closing hymn was "Sing to the Mountains." We sang only two verses but about half the congregation had started to leave before the second verse was complete. The Mass took fewer than 40 minutes.

Same Sunday in 2000
Same Sunday in 1999

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