Yesterday, while Catholics all over the planet were joining Pope Francis in an historic hour of worldwide Eucharistic Adoration, we in Tacoma were doing our little part.
You may recall that we had scheduled a procession through the streets of the city (and across the Interstate), to be led by Archbishop Sartain.
Your humble author was the Master of Ceremonies for the Sacred Liturgy and Eucharistic Procession. Oy.
The first rule of being an MC is that the unexpected will happen. Your job is to make it look like it was on purpose.
At our final practice the day before, I found out that the Archbishop would no longer be able to walk in the procession, so I had to figure out a way to gracefully extricate him from the middle of the rite.
In addition, another priest would be joining us, and I had to figure out a where to put him.
Now, the good part is that there are rubrics to cover most eventualities. The bad part is that there was no way to practice beforehand.
Nevertheless, on the day itself, everything went beautifully. Mistakes were made, of course, but very few would have noticed what they were.
Holy Rosary church was packed. I’ve never seen our parish church so crowded!
The servers were nervous and excited before we began, but with just one or two little hiccups, they did a magnificent job.
The Archbishop prayed the Roman Canon, while Fr. Maurer and a visiting priest friend from his seminary days concelebrated.
Immediately following the Mass, we had a moment of Adoration before beginning the procession.
I don’t know how many people participated in the procession itself, but I’ve heard estimates in the 150 – 250 range.
We crossed I-5 and walked to Saint Joseph church, where we had Benediction.
Then we walked back to Holy Rosary, re-crossing I-5, followed by Benediction and reposing the Sacrament.
It was absolutely glorious.
God gifted us with perfect weather. The people we passed, or who passed us in their cars, slowed down to take a look. Taking Christ through the streets to the folks outside the church is perhaps the purest evangelism.
Hopefully we stirred some wonder, or at least some curiosity.
We’ll meet in a week or so to review what went right and what we can improve for next year, but I don’t think there’s a single person who participated who wants this to be a one-time event.
Photos above are by parishioner Corey Desordi, and more may be found at this link.
Several other photographers took some wonderful images, and I will provide a link to those as soon as they’re online.
From the MC point of view, it was a little nerve-wracking, but everything went quite smoothly. I made one mistake that I don’t think anybody but the Archbishop noticed, and he was extremely gracious in his praise and thanks to me.
The servers did a fantastic job, and the Archbishop, Priests, and Deacon all took direction well, especially in the bits where we had to improvise some transitions.
The choir was magnificent in leading the people in song, particularly as we came into Saint Joseph’s and made the transition from walking to Adoration and Benediction. When the chanting of Tantum Ergo started up, I got goosebumps.
Thanks to all who served and all who participated!