The Mass that changed my life

On a muggy Thursday in June, I was setting up microphones and readying vessels and vestments for weekday Mass in the chapel at Notre Dame University. (To call it a “chapel” is an understatement. You can see a picture of it here.) It was the summer of my freshman year in college, and I’d been invited to a Study Week on Liturgy. Room, board, and admission to the study week in exchange for all the grunt work that needed doing. At 8:00 a.m., the musicians were in place, the presider and the servers were ready, and the readers were set to go. And then”┬Žnothing. Everything was beyond still. It was like the silence before the final, tie-breaking putt on the 18th hole at the Masters Golf Tournament. Then the music started. In slow motion at first, like the golf ball starting toward the hole with just enough movement. Then gathering speed, nearing the hole, faster now, closer, right to the lip and then hanging on the edge. Everyone holding their breath. Will it fall? Will it score? Will it win the day? The rest of the liturgy was on that edge. On the tip of wonder. Suspended in time. The [...]