As a weekend sacristan/adult altar server I was a bit anxious as I set up for Mass early Sunday morning. Our brand new parochial vicar was going to celebrate the Mass and I had yet to meet him.
He entered the sacristy well before Mass began and immediately showed himself to be one of those gentle souls with that certain light/peace that we all wish we had. Being his first Sunday Mass at his new home we carefully went though our local preferences and he thoughtfully communicated his choices to the music director.
His prayer before Mass in the sacristy with the lectors, EMsHC (no, not an abusive number) and me was simply gorgeous. A great start. The procession went just fine too.
He moved in the sanctuary with ease and dignity. I noticed during the first two readings that he followed a long in his own copy of the Magnificat. How nice. His preaching was also absolutely first class. It’s an easy read from my seat and the message was not only good and orthodox, it was listened to.
The music was dignified (cantor and piano) and he was in good sync with the cantor. He seemed to enjoy the special occasion big/ornate chalice that I had prepared for the Mass and the fact that it was properly veiled including a burse. The sanctus bells blended well with his celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. He distributed communion by the book and did not sit down until the tabernacle door was shut (no, he did not repose the Blessed Sacrament himself.)
During the period of silence after communion our pianist appeared to leave the building. She re-appeared in the choir loft to accompany the recession on our seldom used pipe organ. It sounded wonderful. (We are apparently getting a CCTV system installed so our organist can see our cantor and then it will be in regular use.)
All in all a truly nourishing Mass. Times are certainly improving here locally…