The only time I’ve been in the building was through a side door for a community meeting years ago. (And there was the time I suggested my brother park his camper in their lot before crossing the road for a burger.)
Watching services for August 9 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Miesville, I wondered if the light blue hydrangeas on the altar came out of their impressive planting out front. As for impressive, all the pastels on the statues and gold on the white pillars made for stunning visuals.
After watching the shorter service with a cantor and piano music, a homily about having a “listening place” and a reference to it being easier to walk on water in January, plus an announcement that the youth would need to wear masks to the bowling alley, I went back to listen to the earlier Latin liturgy mass.
Two men assisting at the altar wearing white smocks over black garbs moved in choreographed precision. There were a few easily recognizable words such as kyrie, hosanna, alleluia and amen.
During the announcements, the priest explained about the ongoing process being established for blessing objects (such as water, salt, candles or other), that hearing confessions is a priority with a new confessional to be built in the basement and to read Flock Notes for further updates. Also, Saturday, Aug. 15, is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The message was about the importance of intimate prayer — “There’s a monk in everyone of us.” Briefly describing “the church militant” did not mention anything about soldiers, rather, “we’re all saints in the making.”
The “Jesus prayer” was highly recommended: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
As one develops depth in their devotions, the spirit of that prayer can be embodied in just a word or a breath.
Holding up examples of rosaries and prayer ropes with intricate knots the priest said, “Busy hands, quiet heart.” Also, “Minds are not made to be vacant.”
After preparations were made for communion, words appeared on the screen: “... Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there...”
If I recall correctly, “I will be true to thee ‘til death” are the words that go with the notes of music heard at the close of the service — ascending melodiously to the heavens.