Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mass with the Bishop!

This morning at 11:10, I got a phone call from an unknown number.  It turned out to be Rita, the choir organizer.  She was rather in a dither (as in, she was talking too quickly for me to understand it), but I understood that the Mass was in the Duomo instead of the crypt.  I told her we were coming right away.

When we arrived, Jeremy was whisked off into the vesting sacristy.  There were about 4 deacons wandering around helping, a couple of priests, and our other altar server.  I told the deacon that Jeremy’s Italian was shaky, and he said that it would be fine.  He handed Jeremy a little silver pot and told him to follow him.

I left Jeremy and went to the choir area.  There were choir members coming out of the woodwork – people I’d never even seen in Mass. When I asked Rita what was going on, she explained that it was this Bishop’s first Mass in Todi – they’ve apparently just changed, given that our first Mass was presided by a Bishop. 

Turns out that Jeremy’s second time serving was under a bishop.  With incense.  And he got to carry the thingamajig that holds the incense (not the censer, but the pot thingy.  The deacon was carrying the censer).

A cute note:  during the consecration, they used bells.  That is, they used a large bell that was fixed to the cathedral’s wall (kind of like a farm bell?), and the altar server went over and pulled on the chain.  Very sweet!

The priests forgot to provide Communion to the choir members, so we hung around after Mass, and one of the priests dashed over very apologetically and passed out Communion.

We were very amused by the fact that somehow the parishioners appeared to have heard, since there was a larger congregation than usual, but that nothing was really organized until the last minute.  It turned out very nicely, though, and it was a well-celebrated Mass.

We wish all of you a blessed Sunday!




  1. According to Wikipedia it is called an incense boat and Jeremy would be the boat boy. Now you know...
    Do you suppose they have a telephone tree to get the word out? I'm glad the Mass was well attended for the new Bishop anyway.
    What kind of music does the choir sing - Gregorian, medieval, modern? Anything you were familiar with?
    The birds are back at the feeders and the bluebirds have moved in, I hope winter has finally relinquished its grip. We are going on a hike today - will take pictures of the tall chimney.
    Hope the rest of your day is wonderful.

  2. What a lovely Sunday story! We'll be missing you at Knitters' Tea today so your ears should be burning as we extol the virtues of your two week intarsia sweater. Be well and keep the stories coming!

  3. No phone trees in was the bells that called everyone in! Our mass was very prosaic compared to yours; didn't run out of Communion, no last minute changes or bigwig celebrants. But William was quiet in Kris's lap the entire time, so that was good!

  4. Well, since we have bells every Sunday (which I adore -- it's so sweet!), I don't think that explains the boosted attendance. I guess it's like the shops around here -- you just have to "know!" Or maybe there's a special peal for an important Mass.

    It's great that William was quiet! Hurray!