By: Fr. Gregory Haman
Some cultures have siestas; others have afternoon teas. As Catholics, we have Coffee and Rolls, and this applies even at St. Anne’s. At a priest at St. Michael’s just down the street, I get to say Mass there on Tuesdays, and I’ve gotten into the habit of joining the sisters and some staff and other friends for a cup of coffee and maybe a cookie or a bar of some sort.
This past Monday I noticed something special was going on at St. Anne’s when I saw everyone was wearing themed T-shirts, even the Sisters. Then Sr. Christina, always diligent about liturgical preparedness, came forward asking how we would celebrate Mass this Tuesday. Normally, in liturgical terms, we would celebrate the “Memorial” of Saints Joachim and Anne, the traditional names passed down for the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (St. Anne, of course, is the namesake of St. Anne’s Guest Home.) Thus the question: will we celebrate the day as a Memorial (its typical designation) or will it be raised to a higher celebration within this institution?
Unsure of which level it would be, we discussed how it could affect the Mass for that day. Will be become a “Feast Day,” meaning we would add the “Gloria” to the Mass, or would it be a “Solemnity”, the highest of Feast Days, which would tell us to also pray the Creed during Mass? That would make it like a SundayMass.
“Well the only difference between the two would be the Creed…” it was said, but I knew there would be more differences than that. After all, the liturgy is supposed to influence us beyond the Mass itself. It tells us to be joyful at certain times and repentant at others.
My mind immediately went to the coffee after Mass. “Well, it will also make a difference in the quality of baked goods served afterward!” I reminded them. Everyone laughed as I intended, but I also hoped they might take it seriously. I wasn’t disappointed.
Spread out on the table after Tuesday’s Mass were full-sized Caramel Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls, fruit pies, various creamers for the coffee, and even multi-colored napkins. The sisters always excel at hospitality, but this was at a new level.
They saw through my half-joking suggestion, and it increased the joy in all of us to celebrate St. Anne once again.
Fr. Gregory Haman
St. Michael’s, Grand Forks