Wednesday, August 16
"Perhaps my standards are a bit too high, but being an MC at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington has, apparently, spoiled me. Things run smoothly there, even when there are literally hundreds of bishops and thousands of priests present (March for Life Mass, anyone?). Why, then, is it so hard for smaller ceremonies to be run competently? I understand that the Basilica is a church and has a full-time priest in charge of liturgy, but priests ALL conduct liturgies every day, so I guess I don't have much sympathy for someone who can't put something together.
Monsignor O'Connor, in particular, needs a good thrashing. He was constantly running around, doing things. Now, while I understand that, as the MC, he was in charge of the whole deal, I also understand that an MC's job is not to DO everything, but rather to delegate and coordinate. Monsignor does not, apparently, share my understanding.
Other people in need of a thrashing: every single seminarian in the diocese. They were the altar servers for the installation Mass which is, of course, right and proper. Tragically, they were not in cassock and surplice (not their fault, I know- O'Connor deserves another thrashing for that one), but that's not my beef with them. I have a special irritation with seminarians who are clueless when it comes to Mass. I encounter them all the time at the Shrine and they never, ever cease to frustrate me. Why are seminarians so universally clueless when it comes to altar serving? If they didn't do it before seminary, why aren't they doing it there? And if they aren't doing it there, why aren't they taking the initiative to do it at their parish during the summer? People, it isn't hard. Swinging a thurible takes practice, so PRACTICE.
The music selection, though not atrocious, was not particularly good. There were some nice songs here and there, but the communion hymns were gross. I mean, honestly, if I hear Gift of Finest Wheat one more time, I might just throw up."