Monday, March 10, 2008

My Priest "in training" : )

I have two sons, ages 11 and 8, that both serve on the altar. My younger son was fortunate enough to have a very loving sacristan take him under wing and began training him when he was only 6... My Michael took the duties VERY seriously... He knew that his big brother and cousin were serving, too, so he wanted to do his best to make them proud... The thing is, Michael has always been a bit on the "small" side. My oldest son always being on the BIG side, like his big step brother, Michael seemed to take more after my mom and her side of the family.... What he lacks in size and stature, he more than makes up for in heart and courage... : )

I'll never forget after he had only been serving a few weeks, Mr. P, the very nice sacristan, that took him under wing, was standing next to him after they had processed in. After we said the "I confess..." Mr. P handed Noah the VERY large Sacramentary to carry opened, over to Msgr. F for him to read from. Msgr. couldn't help himself and made his hands in to "fist binoculars", holding them up to his eyes, giggling at how little my Michael was... Michael never even noticed, as he was concentrating to hard on trying to hold the book as still as possible... After Msgr. finished his prayer before the readings started, without thinking, he closed the book in Michael's hands and poor Michael tipped over from the weight! Thankfully, Mr. P was close by to catch him and the book before they hit the floor. They decided that they would find anther job for Michael. He makes a GREAT candle bearer!

Well, almost three years later, Michael is a little bigger, but still, quite small for his age. Mr. P has moved North and so Michael has been on his own for the last year and a half. Our entire parish knows both of my boys, as they are "regulars" on the altar every Sunday morning at the 7:45am Mass, and are always very encouraging and complimentary. There has been a new Sacristan since Mr. P left, and periodically, knowing how anxious Michael has been to carry the procession cross, would "test" from time to time to see if he could even carry it. It's quite heavy... Well, last week, when we attended a daily Mass, Michael got his chance... The girls and I found a seat about 8 pews back, and after a few minutes I see the cross coming in from the side door. No Altar boy. Just the cross. Bobbing slightly up and down... It occurred to me WHO was carrying it! I KNEW if I could see him, he was BEAMING from ear to ear... Cautiously I peered through squinted eyes, a little nervous to watch... thinking "PLEASE don't trip... PLEASE don't drop it... "

Well, except for his carrying the cross to the WRONG side of the altar, at the direction of his big brother (thanks, bro!) they made a fairly smooth transition and got it in the stand on the correct side. The only other "Gasp!" moment was when he recessed out the side door and he tipped the cross forward to get it through the doorway.... : ) I asked him after Mass if the cross was heavy... "No, mom, it wasn't heavy at all!" smiling every moment... yup... there's my future priest : )

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