natesmountain (natesmountain) wrote,

Harmony comes to St Anthony's - we need Phil Gulley

We had some of our neighbours over for Christmas drinks tonight. Just a few couples, and it was a great night. One neighbour brought fresh paua fritters he'd just caught and made, another brought Greek shortbreads she'd made this afternoon. The Assyrians sent over their usual date-almond surprise selection last night too, in response to the tiny gingerbread Christmas tree cookies I made them the day before, so we're doing well on the food front. We have a great bunch of neighbours.

We had a frustrating time at Mass today. First off, I get there with my friend at nine to get the music ready. At 9:07 our parish secretary, a good friend of ours, texts us to say she's emailed the prayers of the faithful to us (should have been done three days before). I text back to say it's a bit late. She says we're lucky to get them at all, they didn't go the first time. I say, well, we can't get them now, we're already in the church. She says, don't you use your laptop? I say, yes but duh, we don't get the internet in church. Recognising I'm getting irritated, she offers to clothe herself yet again (it's amazing how many times she's driven me to distraction, even though I love her dearly) in sackcloth and ashes, which I have to admit only irritates me more! All I want is for her to get the job right.

And later the Mass culminated in an almost argument over... can you believe it, can you honestly believe it, when to turn on the lights at Midnight Mass!!! It's so sad it's funny. Matthew, the anally-retentive usher who likes to control the lights and the bell to start Mass ("I ring that bell on GMT time and I don't care if you're in the middle of a song, I'm going to ring that bell on the dot of Midnight come hell or high water." ), couldn't tolerate our liturgy committee (of which I am a member) suggesting we leave the lights off until after the readings, to create a lovely Midnight atmosphere. I mean, Mary and Joseph didn't sit in that damn manger in full light, did they! He says he has to turn the lights on for the Gloria. We said why. He said he'd done it that way for two decades and it was what he's always been told to do and did we want to take over his job... OMG!!! It was so difficult. I could have screamed!!! I can't believe our parish community is barely hanging together, thanks to the new priest, and then we have to fight to have the lights left off for five more minutes! Phil Gulley would have a laugh. He'd understand. It's his little town of Harmony all over again in real living colour.
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