Immaculate Conception

The plan was to attend Mass at our home parish. I called my dad to say I was on the way and he said he’d since like to go to the next town.  The Deacon there had prayed for my Dad last year and helped him in a time of crisis.  I welcomed the chance to meet him and didn’t mind the change in venue just this once.

That’s not all there was to it.

I also met Father Tom and a father, Tom. Father Tom, the latter, and his wife are my sister’s in-laws. I’d forgotten they’d retired to Lancaster.

We also saw Bill whom we mutually know from different circles. Mass was being said for his own father.

Mass hadn’t even started yet and it seemed like we were there for reasons other than the Deacon’s sermon.

I also personally enjoyed the music before Mass even started. Angels wings were around us in sound and sight.  My father’s name is Ralph and as the hymn started I realized there was a picture of Raphael watching over us.

The March for Life is this week on the Washington mall, so that was the focus of the sermon. I felt inspired to sign-up for the bus from the cathedral.  I’m still considering it as I write this post.

What had the most impact for me was communion in that church. First of all, they have the bells after each time Jesus speaks at the last supper.  I remember them from my childhood but our parish has long done away with that tradition. Secondly, the Deacon’s reverence was loud and clear as the co-celebrant. It was obvious before I met him why he was a key part of my Dad’s healing. Most importantly, I can’t recall the last time the body and blood of Christ impacted me more. After communion, with the music playing from above – another thing I miss from our original church that burned down in the 90’s – a total calm came over me and I was transported somewhere. Kneeling in my pew  I listened to the hymn in total reverence  but didn’t say a particular prayer.  I told God I just wanted to take it all in. That’s when there was a really bright light under my closed eyes that only got brighter as the music sank into my soul. I knew there were tears forming but I couldn’t, and didn’t want to, control them.  Words and laureates will never be able to help explain those moments in time for me…

…what broke me from my peaceful home was Congregational laughter.  Evidently, someone’s high-pitched alarm had gone off, that nobody seemed to respond to, so Father finally asked who had to get to the fire?

I wiped my eyes but remained in complete peace while we met our friends after the final blessing. I think somehow the Deacon helped me this time.  I’m still not sure what it all means or what I experienced. The one thing I do know is this certainly isn’t the last time I’ll transcend to Lancaster.

That’s all there is to it.