Experiencing Jesus washing the feet of his disciples

This is not going to be a polished post. I have let so many opportunities go by because I didn’t have the time to sit down and write a nicely crafted piece on what I wanted to say, so here goes.

Yesterday, in the Catholic religion, was Holy Thursday. It is common for all churches to have a mass and reenact Jesus washing the feet of his disciples as he did at the Last Supper. Last night was no exception.

Normally, we sit in the pews and the group of men sit in the front of the altar while Father washes their feet as Jesus did so long ago. For our church parish, it is normal for a hymn to be sung at this time. My hubby was the musician for last night’s services and he has been suffering from a sinus infection. It is so bad that he sometimes sounds like he’s drowning. Last night he decided to play an entire verse of music before beginning the singing, rather than jumping right in with the lyrics.

Before he could begin singing, our associate pastor, Father Ding, stood up and walked to the altar and opened the book. He began reading about the washing of the feet as our pastor proceeded with the task. He read a passage and then paused, read and paused, and continued on in this manner until the washing was complete. With the background music and his intermittent reading, it allowed the congregation to listen and meditate on what was being said. Instead of merely “watching” the reenactment, we were brought into the scene along with those having their feet washed.

Normally, those having their feet wash experience what it was like, while those of us sitting in the pews are left to “watch”. With Father’s reading, he allowed us to experience what the disciples must have felt.

Then, during the procession around the church (and I’m sure there are more appropriate terms to use), there was silence until the priest began using the incense in front of the tabernacle. At that time, instead of music and singing, hubby sang the song acapella. In years past, there has been music and singing for the procession. The silence was much more reverent and added to the service.

After mass, we took Father Ding to a hospital in New Orleans to visit with one of our parishioners and friends who will be with the Lord soon. We were discussing how reverent the mass services were with those changes tonight. He shared with us that he felt called to do something and he stepped up to the altar with no idea what he was going to do. He thought about singing and jokingly said he didn’t want people to laugh at him (he was joking, he sings quite well) but in the end, he felt moved by the Holy Spirit to read as Father washed the feet.

Father Ding is retiring in a few months and we have been so blessed to have had him with us this past year. He is a wise man and blessed with the Holy Spirit as we have witnessed many times. We witnessed him invoking the Holy Spirit as we prayed with our friend. There was such a calmness and peacefulness in the room. I would consider myself blessed if Father were around when I am dying. He has a compassion that we don’t often see and when he prays, it comes from his soul.

That’s all I have for right now. This was a blessed Holy Thursday this year.

Just another day in “Lucyland”

The craziest things – Lucy things – seem to happen to me. I often write about them here.

We attended mass on Saturday and we normally bring an elderly neighbor with us. When we do, I follow her to communion and back to make sure she doesn’t fall. Everything was going according to plan as we went up to communion at mass. She received the bread and was heading back to the pew. No sooner had Father put the bread in my hands than he was pulling me up to the altar. He almost didn’t give me time to put it in my mouth and I’m thinking I am not a Eucharistic minister, what is he doing.

He begins to whisper to me as he starts rooting around in his pockets and then produced his office key and told me to go and get something. I had to ask three times and I thought I heard cell but wasn’t sure. There’s a slight language barrier and when you are in the middle of a strange situation, it is a little more difficult to understand. I have to say that he didn’t just randomly choose me, we are very close to Father and he knew I would listen.

I headed out the door and the key unlocked the office so I knew I was on the right path, but I was doing some heavy-duty praying because I really didn’t have a clue what I was supposed to bring back. When I walked in his phone was charging on his desk so I grabbed it, thanked God and headed back. I placed it and the keys on his chair and went and sat down. Turns out he was handing out the minister of the month and did need his phone to take a picture (as if 100 other people in the church didn’t have a phone, including me and I normally take photos when needed). Just another day in Lucyland.

Did anything unusual happen to you this weekend?