Sunday, February 19

No Breaking of the Word today

Today the weather was bad in Dallas, plus one of our RCIA teachers was sick and the other was the acting Deacon during Mass, so we didn't have our Breaking of the Word class today. There were only two of us that made it to Mass from our RCIA class anyway.

Since our class always leaves after the Homily, the only song I know that they sing every week is the Gloria. And I still don't know all the words - I have to read them from my Magnificat. Their songs are seriously complicated. I'm used to St. Jude's songs.

The homily was really good. Deacon L. talked about the last reading of the Mass, and having faith through adversity. That's always a good thing.

I still don't know all the words to the Nicene Creed either, so I had to look at that. The offering snuck up on me, since normally we're gone for that part of mass, plus I was in the first row (where the catechumens normally sit), so I was the first to donate. But I did have a little cash, so I gave that.

The song for the Holy, Holy Lord and Agnus Dei prayers were compicated, too. The Eucharistic Ministers came out and there was a whole fleet of these people. I had a front row seat to two of the eucharistic ministers. It was interesting to see how many people took communion in the hand verses those who received on the tongue.

After communion they had a second collection. I was kind of caught off guard, since I had given all of my extra cash at the first offering. I wonder why they do that - two offerings, I mean? And not even tell us about the second one?

Overall, it's a very pretty service. I am sure I could learn the songs if I tried. I was just a little rushed this week because I walked in when the bells were ringing for Mass to start. That's a really neat sensation, though, to be walking up the main aisle of the Cathedral with the bells ringing. It was super cool.


At 10:44 AM, Anonymous John said...

The 2nd collection at our parish is specifically designated for the poor, and sometimes it will be for a specific purpose (Katrina relief, supporting a war-torn diocese, etc.) when announced. The 2nd collection isn't announced for general support of the poor since it's been around for a while. Generally speaking, the offering you give during the presentation of the gifts is what you've pledged to give to the parish. The second collection is if you have some extra to give. That's why you see envelopes in the first collection - it's what families have planned and budgetted to give. Usually, bills and pocket change are thrown into the second collection, and sometimes this is where children will contribute a portion of their allowence.

Our parrish is phasing out the 2nd collection and asking the parishoners to anticipate that and make that calculation in the 1st collection. I like this change since it doesn't disturb the mass. But it is a risk. We still have obligations to the poor. We're counting on the goodness of the parishoners to recognize that and give a little more generously at the outset.

I know Mormons point to the passing of the plate as a bad thing. It is integral to the mass to offer the contributions in front of the alter as the gifts of break and wine are offered. Catholics are not to judge others by what they contribute. I don't put anything in the 1st collection since we contribute through direct deposit. Without the second collection, I will be throwing scraps into the only collection now, but anyone paying attention will think we're not making much of a contribution. But what we contribute is between us and God, and we don't have to defend our contributions in a tithing settlement.

I'm sure your RCIA will give you guidelines on what is expected to give, but it's up to you and your husband to determine what is appropriate to contribute.


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