Some Fridays this summer I've been able to slip away to morning mass without the kids before Jeff goes off to work. It's usually split-second: the camp bus picks up the older ones close to 9 and I can see Jeff won't be ready for another half hour yet. Now it's been a while and morning mass was cancelled last week because of the bishop's ordination, so I wasn't even aware of which week we're on.
The summer liturgical calendar is usually pretty bland. I don't know it by heart1 but after John the Baptist and Sts. Peter and Paul, nothing really sticks out until Assumption. For most people. There are exceptions; everyone has their personal favorites and it's a question of degree not kind.
But, as I alluded, there are surprises and I've been surprised too many times by the calendar to dash out in that split-second without glancing at it first. And, you know, it's a significant day, so the question was which missal to take. Which missal would have the texts for the Transfiguration in it. And since this is one of those feasts that, if it falls on Sunday, replaces the Sunday, the texts were found in the Sunday missal.2 Whew, because my weekday missal is single volume, fat.
The cardboard lawn sign reminded me that the parish's VBS finishes up this morning. I was trying to figure how those volunteers who attend mass would get out in time. Rather than move a ribbon to the place in the back of the Sunday missal, I just stuffed my finger in between the pages and walked up the back stairs. Volunteers were already in the hall setting up but I could also hear someone reading upstairs so I hurried.
Jean was already on the psalm and I figured the volunteers would be on time only if mass started a little early. Technically I was late. And I have it in my mind that formalities are only that when you're late: I slipped in the back without genuflecting. I was already self-conscious so why exacerbate it with showiness. Anyway, I was pleased I could open the missal quickly and quietly to catch up. I took the first few minutes of the homily (tinged with self-help, ugh) to skim the first reading, Daniel 7; it's a very familiar one to anyone who's studied with dispensationalists.
Afterwards, the parking lot was a little busier than usual. I should have parked in a way so that I didn't need to back up. I was afraid I'd run over a kid or something. And on the way home I heard this neat song that sounded like Cat Stevens/James Taylor/Alison Krauss/O Brother, Where Art Thou? I expected her to belt out "go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend" at any moment. But she didn't. I might be predisposed to liking it; I remember liking "What Have They Done To My Song Ma" and my sister was crazy about "Lay Down".
Now, First Friday someplace would make a nice bookend tonight but we're going to the beach instead.
1 Huh, never seen this before, but it's handy.
2 My old St. Joseph's missal lists about a dozen feasts in the front, my newer Daughters of St. Paul missals less than ten. But I think the lists are in effect the same.