Tuesday was my Massaversary. By the calendar, it was really about a month ago, in March, but the first Mass I ever attended was on Holy Tuesday, which was two days ago.
I remember it clearly because of the recommendation of my friend, Tim. He said I should try to attend the masses during Easter’s Holy Week, that they were really lovely. I went to that first one on Tuesday. Then on Wednesday, I went to the second one.
And then I discovered that that’s it for the daily masses in Holy Week. Thursday and Friday and Saturday were all simple prayer services; the big services or masses were held in the evening.
I went to the following prayer services, and was shocked on Saturday to have been caught up so emotionally at the lighting of the Easter fire. It was overwhelming, and almost too much, but it was.
Going back to my first Mass on that Holy Tuesday, it ran just like a regular mass. The fabrics were still purple, the flowers were a mix of greenery and red, leftover from Palm Sunday, although at the time I did not know that.
I sat alone behind an older woman with a colorful embroidered jacket. She was also wearing a hat. I would find out later in the season that her name was Shirley.
I was struck by the synchronicity of it all. Everyone doing the same thing, at the same time, sometimes before the priest gave the signal to move. There was a call and response, and everyone knew all the words. Everyone except me.
I was also struck by the exercise program of it all.
Sit, stand, cross yourself. Bend your head, sit, stand, cross yourself. Kneel, stand, raise your hands, drop your hands, kneel, stand, raise your hands, drop your hands, shake hands with your neighbor, walk to the front, eat, drink, and walk back. Bow and sit. Then stand, bow, and genuflect.
Add a little bit of music and you’ve got a Richard Simmons video.
It was foreign, and I spent most of my time watching the others, trying to emulate what they did, just slightly slower than they.
That was the beginning.
I still go to the daily mass; at least I try to. I have returned for Lent, and I have indeed missed it. I think I’d gotten lazy, but I’m hoping to make it part of my daily prayer time again.
This year, since last week, excepting today, I’ve stayed after the daily mass for the recitation of the rosary. I have some issues with the after rosary prayer, but that is a subject for another day. All in all, I get good feelings from praying to the Holy Mother; something I couldn’t have imagined five years ago.
So, happy massiversary to me!
And Happy Easter to all of you.