Due to the lateness in the hour, our seating options are limited. We must choose between sitting next to the Johnsons, an elderly couple biding their time on the way to purgatory, or the Millers, barely legal parents of three who live off their parent’s social security checks and natural family planning. One of the children begins to cry. Nevermind, that’s Mother again.
I wish I could enter a room like this priest. At the front of his posse, a slave child bears a wooden cross followed by two other children who seem useless and tired, probably dragged here with the promise of church basement doughnuts at the end of mass. Behind them is the star performer, man of the hour, Julliard-trained priest. The organ bellows as the doors open before him. I made a mental note to buy myself a crew with minions like these after the show. I’d like such a perfectly-timed musical entrance when I ask my boss for a raise.
I wonder if my indoor sunglasses and the giant jug of orange juice betray my hangover? The glare from Sister Beatrice indicates yes.
Fuck. I forgot this was a children’s mass. Tone deaf fourth-grade Sally just picked a wedgie to kick off her grand entrance and then promptly shoved her skirt down into her underwear upon her solo’s completion.
Of course the first reading was Sodom and Gomorrah. Is this story not adding up for anyone else? Gay, sinful heathen townsfolk raping a bunch of angels? That story doesn’t check out. If the townsfolk were really gay, they would’ve welcomed those fairy angels in with a chilled wine and a cheese platter. Some Molly perhaps.
Were the rainsticks during the Responsorial Psalm really necessary?
Another classic from Peter: wives be obedient to their husbands. At what point do we get rid of this reading from the Bible? Seriously, Peter, where do you get off? More importantly, with language like that, who is getting you off? Probably those bros at Gomorrah, let’s be real.
Finally some action. In the midst of Father Mulligan’s homily, one of the elderly crew passed out due to the heat since Lord knows this parish is too cheap for air conditioning. The church should really have a backup casket for these occasions. Skip the middle man.
The woman and her husband are taken away by the ambulance, and now Father Mulligan is asking us to vote on whether he should continue with his homily. The majority vote yes out of obligation. I vote no. Doesn't seem to have much narrative arc.
Father Mulligan asks the children about their fears. A nerd says the zombie apocalypse. One girl says tarantulas. My response would've been emotional intimacy.
“Let none of us suffer in silence,” Father Mulligan continues. Mother leans into my ear and says, “Never worry about me. I will never suffer in silence. I’m starving. Can you go outside and call us a brunch reservation?” Table for two awaits us at 10:00 am.
One of the ancients botches every single name of the dead this week. Way to kill them a second time, Carl.
Collection time. When our collector stops by our pew, Mother pulls some money out of her bra and puts a twenty in the basket, but immediately asks for cash back so she can pay for parking.
We have now transitioned from Liturgy of the Word to Liturgy of the Eucharist. Act two is a lot more physically demanding for the audience though—sit, kneel, stand, bow, sit stand, kneel, walk. Much too much.
Mulligan decides to sing a cappella over the hosts. Aside from this blatant violation of our ear drums, I am growing concerned we may be late for our brunch reservation.
With some final prayers, Mulligan conjures God to be present in our bread and wine. What if one of these days God doesn’t show? After all, he didn’t get the grand entrance Mulligan did at the beginning. That sort of mis-prioritization would grate on me over the years. Mulligan gets a mini-fuckin parade and all God gets is some mistimed bell-ringing to keep everyone awake so we don’t all pull a Gesthemene 2.0? God’s friends couldn’t even stay up for his death—how could he not have trust issues?
And seriously, Timmy, if you are gonna ring the bells two minutes late, don’t do it at all. Get it together, slave child.
The passing of the peace has become so impersonal. Nobody wants to shake hands. It’s really a microcosm of our generation’s aversion to human contact and interpersonal connection.
All the eucharistic ministers are fucking up hardcore on the altar. Who choreographed this? Certainly not Fosse.
Some of the real ancients get to stay seated instead of walking up. These fucks are too lazy to even get the BODY OF CHRIST. Buddies: you’re so close to the grave. Don’t you want to put in the extra effort?…But if it’s not that much trouble, I’d take a delivery order as well.
I know the wine is now Jesus’ blood, but transubstantiation has not taken away the smell of booze and it's way too soon for that based off last night.
As the priest exits—again with a glorious fanfare—I realize the green garments don’t match his eyes. Poor fashion design.
Mother orders a mimosa bucket.