Kind and gentle Reader, please forgive me beforehand. My wife and I try our best to never, ever say something that will harm or offend our fellow parishioners at St. Peter’s. Yet, there are those who take offense where none is intended. So, please, please understand before I begin this sad narrative there is no offense intended.
This morning I had to pick up Fre3d Capra from the Fauquier Health Emergency Department after an overnight in the ICU due to a nearly debilitating trauma to his nerves and aesthetic sensitivities that occurred during the 8:30 AM Mass at St. Peter’s yesterday.
It all began during the first reading (Is 8:23—9:3). Fre3d was reading the words of the Prophet Isaiah in a thoughtful and prayerful manner from page 885 of The Daily Roman Missal. (Very few others were reading because our Pastor discontinued providing missalettes for the parishioners long ago.) Fre3d had no idea what others at Mass were witnessing as the following passage began:
“For the yoke that burdened them,
the pole on their shoulder,
and the rod of their taskmaster
you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.”
Just as the lector began the word “smashed“, he brought his fist down with great force upon the lectern and made a tremendous noise that nearly had Fre3d, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, diving under the pew. His breathing stopped, his pulse increased, his ears began ringing, and he felt as if he had just suffered the concussion of a nearby hand grenade.
Fre3d had only begun to recover his senses by the time the second reading (1 Cor 1:10-13, 17) began. This time, Fre3d could not concentrate on reading from his missal. Instead he stared, amazed and bewildered by the theatrical gesticulations of the lector. He was pointing at the Crucifix, he was pointing at the altar, his hands were waving as swiftly and expansively as the blades of UH-1 Huey helicopter. Fre3d missed hearing the reading; he merely went into a catatonic stupor and remained so for the remainder of the Mass.
After I completed saying the Prayer to St. Michael at the end of Mass, I quickly escorted poor Fre3d to my SUV and made maximum speed for the Emergency Department in Warrenton. Today, they said he should be able to recover most of his faculties, but it will be a long, long time before he is fully recovered.
Now, this unfortunate episode brings me back to St. Peter’s Bulletin_2016-05-15 that said:
WE NEED 4 LECTORS
We need 2 lectors to serve at the 5:00 pm (Saturday) mass, and 2 additional lectors to serve at the 8:30 am and 11 am Mass on Sunday. We will train you – please contact: ….
Fre3d more or less figured that something like this was eventually going to happen. That is why he began his investigation in the The Curious Case of Lector Training – A Fre3d Capra Mystery and The Curious Case of Lector Training – New Data. We recognize that our sometimes sleuth, Fre3d Capra, erred when he considered that the Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word was suspect. Nevertheless, he was absolutely 100% correct in considering the notion that something was not right with lector training. While still somewhat shell-shocked, he has come to two alternative conclusions:
- There is no lector training and we are now seeing problems arise, or
- There is lector training and that there will be more of what we saw at the 8:30 AM Mass this last Sunday.
For Fre3d’s sake and for all of you, kind and gentle readers, I hope Fre3d is incorrect once again and that what we were forced to endure at the 8:30 AM Mass was just a one-time occurrence.
My wife adds – For those lectors who are frustrated thespians, you might be better suited for performing at Castleton Festival than for lectoring.