Sunday, March 15, 2009

kvetching again...

...but at this point, NOT about the weather.

Not that it doesn't offer opportunities.

But this moan is on the subject of How Hard It Is To Find Good Help...liturgical subsection.

I officiate at two Sunday services at MH & U, including the early one, at 8:30, with a tiny congregation, the old Book of Common Prayer, a splendid volunteer organist, and a "Lay Assistant," sort of a sub-diaconal role, with responsibility for carrying the Gospel book in procession, "handing things" at the Eucharist, and so forth.

At the early service there is a rota of three or four volunteers who carry out this role, according to the light that has been afforded them.

And there is ONE...who was on duty this morning...and now I'm going to whine, folks, because she manages to be across my hawse, that is, "test my vocation," every step of the way.

I usually arrive about 7:30 or 7:40. At 8 a.m. I unlock the front doors and set out the "church open" sign. At 8 a.m., she arrives at the BACK door, approximately half a block from the front door, and rings the doorbell for admittance. So I run back to "buzz her in" and receive the reproachful looks.

Once in, she sets about constructing herself a little nest in the chancel for her private devotions...in the process, she flits about the church turning on about HALF of what needs turning on...never the same pattern twice, and getting under my feet.

I worked myself out a little "route" through the premises, turning on lights, attending to the front doors and the sound system, taking down the hymn boards ready for the early morning hymn numbers, marking the lectern Bible for the readers, "setting" the pulpit, adding last-minute names to the intercession list, putting batteries in the mics, generally getting my feet and mind--such as it is--set for the liturgy.

But when Esmeralda is on the premises...she turns on HALF the lights...can't find the batteries for the mics (that's cuz they're in the CHARGER, sweetums, WHITHER you never, ever, return them), runs off with the intercession sheet (into her little devotional nook) before I've emended it... insists on carrying extraneous items when she's ALSO officially carrying the processional cross or the Gospel Book, insists on hiking up the slack of her alb in one hand in procession like 'Liza crossing the ice (while carrying the cross and extraneous baggage)...and placidly ignores all cues, commands, and corrections.

Isn't this childish. But I want to take her by her two ears and pound her head on the wall. Pray for me.

8 comments:

mompriest said...

I know exactly what you mean...and I will pray for you, please then, pray for me..:-)

Chorus said...

I shouldn't laugh... I know I shouldn't.

Towanda said...

it's ok, chorus. I laughed!

Kathryn said...

lolol
I know, I know....I'd pray but am much too busy laughing at the awful familiarity of it all. Rueful sympathy

cheesehead said...

I laughed too!

In my case I have a bunch of lay readers who insist on reading the scripture from the most hideous translations/paraphrases of the Bible available to humanity.

When I request that they use the same NRSV as I use, that is the pew Bibles in which people can read along, they claim it is "too hard to understand", so they must use the "teen" Bible they got as a confirmation present back when Jesus wore short pants.

Mary Beth said...

ARGH. I'm sorry. But it's too funny, also.

mibi52 said...

Ah, dear heart, if I could come up and be your deacon, all would be well...

I'm giggling madly, as I've worked with several folks (including one retired priest) who greatly resemble your description of Esmeralda. The situation brings a whole new meaning to the concept of shepherding, rather like the border collies who must nip at the heels of wayward or stupid sheep. Not that any of our sheep are stupid, of course...

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