Apparently there are people who think “church is boring”. That is never my problem. Ever. I have too many little kids. I would LOVE it if church was actually boring; I could sit still, pay attention, maybe even learn something. Instead, it’s chaos. Always chaos.
Today is Palm Sunday. The Catholic online world began steeling itself for Palm Sunday several days ago. They hand out blessed palms at the beginning of Mass on Palm Sunday. No child has ever not used these as weapons. And so Palm Sunday is especially challenging for parents.
The town our parish is in has Easter break this week (our Easter break isn’t until next week) so there was no religious ed. before Mass. That worked out perfectly as I planned on being a few minutes late to avoid getting palms until after church (I know, I know. I do what I have to, to survive). Unfortunately, we ended up being more than a moment or two late. It was one of those mornings where both Leo and I were running around screaming things like “WHERE ARE THE BABY’S SHOES?” and “YOU MUST WEAR A SHIRT” (directed at a child. Not Leo)
So we roll in right as the first reading starts. The pews are full. The kids are delighted that we have to sit in the balcony. I hate the balcony. There isn’t the public pressure to behave like you’d get in a normal pew. The 3 year old thinks you can run around and the acoustics are such that it has a drum-like effect, amplifying every step. The balcony is stressful. But it was our only option.
So, I’m sitting in the balcony, 20 month old son on my lap. The Palm Sunday Gospel is a participatory one so I have an open missal on my lap and I’m trying to follow along and keep the baby somewhat happy. So I wasn’t really paying attention. Something yellow flew passed my face. It landed somewhere on the people below.
“What was that?” my husband asked. “It was yellow.”
“I don’t know.”
We looked at each other.
Then I realized what it was.
Yellow. About 3″ x 4″. Lightweight. “60% more absorbent.” “With wings”
That was an Always Regular that flew over the balcony.
I looked down. The head usher was directly below us. Everyone was at the most solemn part of one of the most solemn Masses of the year. “Let Him be crucified!” everyone read. I turned bright red. Stifled a laugh. Leo was trying hard to keep it together. The usher guy had been hit in the head with a maxi pad during the gospel.
Luckily I was too busy keeping kids in order to really be as embarrassed as I should be. I found the pad, well under the balcony so I know there’s no way it fell there, on the same table with the blessed palms. I grabbed it as surreptitiously as I could. And tried to comport myself like I knew nothing about it.
And thus ends another non-boring Mass. I can only hope Easter is closer to boring.