HomedotMagisReflectionsReal Presents (Part II)

Real Presents (Part II)

CommunionMoving right along.  Where was I?  The 5:30 PM liturgy on Friday.

I had finally settled down in a back pew when an usher’s tap on my shoulder launched me into full-bodied Uh-oh Mode. What did I do? What didn’t I do?

I’m convinced this reaction is the result of having watched “The Trouble With Angels” way too many times, although there could be other reasons.  A few incidents during a part-time pastoral associate stint come to mind. In any event, tap me on the shoulder (or shoot me a look) during liturgy and my adrenals kick into gear.

But what, really, was I worried about? Having just moved to Baltimore I had yet to find, let alone become visible to a church community. “It’s like going into the Witness Protection Program,” I quipped to friends back at my former home.  Truth to tell, I was kind of liking that aspect.

But it was also true that I was feeling displaced, something I knew the structure of Mass would ameliorate, which is why I forced myself to go.  Had I forced myself to go or had divine forces overridden my human resistance?

Either I didn’t hear — or didn’t believe what I was hearing — when the usher leaned over to murmur in my ear. When her whispered words finally entered my full awareness, they felt like a much-welcomed kiss of peace.

“Would you bring up the gifts?”

Creative Commons License photo credit: ana branca 

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Meredith Gould
Meredith Gould
Meredith Gould, PhD, is the author of seven books, including The Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions for Holidays, Feast Days, and Every Day, Why Is There a Menorah on the Altar? Jewish Roots of Christian Worship, and The Word Made Fresh: Communicating Church and Faith Today. She serves on the team at The Virtual Abbey and founded the Twitter chat for church social media (#chsocm).


  1. Meredith;
    I had the same exact thing here in columbia sc when i retired last year, but i did not go back to that church again, i wish i had stuck it out.
    keep the faith


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