Better late than never, as the saying goes. If only for completeness, here is the rest on the June 22 Cathedral Mass:
Yesterday’s description of “difficulty breathing” now sounds weird -at any rate, trying to suppress a constant cough was greatly uncomfortable and I couldn’t wait to take care of it. I’d weighed my options: sitting in the front, I didn’t think I’d make it to the doors at the back. (As it turned out, there were doors behind me, but I hadn’t noticed them on the way in.) But there was an alcove past the tabernacle and as soon as Archbishop Dolan finished his homily, I grabbed my water bottle and made a beeline for it.
The alcove turned out to be the location of two Reconciliation Rooms (so that’s where the confessionals are). Whatever the dry throat/cough/irritated eye was, it disappeared as quickly as it appeared. The problem was that I was now in an awkward position of not being able to return to my seat without creating a distraction. Even worse, my beeline to the nearest place had probably already done so. So I stayed there.
If the Creed was said, I missed it. I did hear the cantor sing the responses to the Prayer of the Faithful. I didn’t understand them as the response was apparently in Spanish.
I listened to the Eucharistic Prayer, beautifully chanted. It was also wonderful to hear the full congregation sang the Sanctus in English. A priest once commented that he found the response of the congregtion edifying.
The Greeting of Peace seemed a good time to slip back into the congregation. Whether or not there was a Communion hymn, post-Communion was a time of deep silence for me, of awareness of the Presence of the Lord. Sitting behing the clergy, which has seemed such a faux pas earlier, now in the post-Communion time gave me a sense of surrounding the priests with supportive prayer.
In the two weeks since that Mass, it’s occurred to me that when the priests were in seminary and read the verse of Jesus saying, “Take up your cross and follow me” that none of them expected today’s situation. It was good to hear of the sacrificial priesthood in the homily.