Friday, July 10, 2020

Returning to mass, and navigating a heat wave...

Hello all and happy Friday! I've had a week full of actual STUFF, shocking, I know. :-0 And I thought I would fill you in. Grab your coffee!

Yes, I'm still drinking coffee despite it being a thousand degrees here for the past week. OK, maybe not *quite* that hot, but it feels quite close to that. I live in a mostly cold weather climate, and thus a lot of people here do not have centrally air conditioned homes, including us. So heat is very unpleasant. And this week, we've set a record: 7 days in a row so far (today projected to be the 8th) of temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Farenheit, with yesterday topping out the week at 98. Around here, that might as well be the Surface of the Sun. 😂 We are blessed to have window a/c units for our bedrooms, though not for the rest of the house. Taking my dance and fitnes classes in our home office has been occasion of melting for me this week. It's kept things interesting, to be sure. We've actually fared pretty well until yesterday, when everyone just felt lethargic and vaugely ill all day. We've taken the kids out to places that do have a/c: the public library, local coffee shop, and also on a wooded hike to look for birds. It's actually been quite lovely in it's own way. A summer family adventure!

In other big news, I went back to mass for the first time since the pandemic started (nearly 4 months)! I went to the vigil mass, figuring it would be a pretty small turnout to test the waters, and I was right: even counting Father, 2 ushers and the music minister, there were 26 people present. And our church is HUGE. The restrictions were pretty much what I expected, and I think all are prudent at this time. In my personal opinion, I would rather have less tape on the floor and pews (I can ascertain how to stay physically distant from others without it) but I suppose I can see the other side of this, that the parish wants to assure they are doing absolutely everything they can. Everyone was wearing a mask, which is the proper course of things right now, and very doable for an hour.

After I sat down, I excitedly paged through my new missal and got the ribbons all situated. I had heard that some churches were not letting you bring in your own missal (and the paper missalettes are all removed from the pews, I think this is pretty standard everywhere right now), and I was going to be sad if that was the case for me, because I thrive in being able to follow along visually with the readings and prayers. Happily, bringing your own missal was not an issue at my parish.

Isn't it beautiful?! I set up my ribbons for the prayers of the liturgy and the readings of the day, one just to keep track of those wily Prefaces, one for the calendar, and the last one for the Proper of Saints. I was IN LOVE. I've subscribed to magazines like Magnificat and Living with Christ for as long as I can remember, or I've had the small annual St. Joseph's Sunday missal. This is my first daily missal, and it's sheer heft excites me. 😁

So, mass started, and while everything feels a bit awkward with the necessary restrictions, it was very, very beautiful. Receiving the Eucharist again for the first time in nearly 100 days was...emotional. I haven't gone without receiving for that long since I fell away from my faith in graduate school (and that was 2 decades ago!). The only part I didn't love was that we were rushed out of our pews to comply with the one-way markings for dismissal. When it was your pew's turn to leave, you literally had to leave, no lingering to pray for a few extra minutes. :-0 I could have lived without that, but nothing is perfect, and the parish is just doing the best they can to hold public masses while complying with necessary public health precautions.

I didn't bring the kids. I wanted to scope things out a bit on my own so that I can tell them what to expect. I'm also going to be honest and say that it's not going to be easy to drag them back to mass after not going for all of these months. They are at ages where "church is boring," and I get it, as that's exactly how I felt, too, when I was their age. So I'm working on that. I'm undecided as to whether I'll bring them this Saturday, or wait until next weekend. But we *finally* got word about First Communion, and Anne will be making hers on August 2nd!! I'm SO EXCITED, and so is she. I'm planning to use the weeks leading up to this to share tidbits with her about receiving to try and stoke her hunger to receive Jesus, and hopefully this will lead to a softening about attending mass again.

I've also been trying to keep my spiritual spirits up by delighting in my new St. Dymphna rosary!

Rosaries by Allison on Etsy
Isn't it beautiful? St. Dymphna is the patron saint of those suffering from anxiety and depression. St. Dymphna, please pray for us! In your charity, please keep my kids in your prayers that the Lord will light a fire in their hearts for their faith. Thank you!

Have you returned to in-person mass? If not, how is your experience going with the streaming mass options? How are you holding up in the July heat? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!


  1. Hi Tiffany, Nice to hear from you. It has been hot. We have a/c in one bedroom and one in the dining room. We alternate the a/cs. They both can cool the house off. Today we are in a tropical storm Fay. The rain has been heavy with gusts of rain. We are still staying in most of the time. Marilyn had to go for her eye exam in order to renew he license. Monday had to pick up the glasses. It was not too crowded and everyone wore masks. Glad you have a date for Anne's First Holy Communion. Stay well and safe and COOL!
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

    1. Hi ladies! Glad you made it through that tropical storm ok, yikes! Mask wearing is quite pervasive here, and everybody complies, which is a good thing, to be sure. I do long for the day that I can wear lipstick again (vain, I know, but I truly love it!) but for now, this is the right thing to do. <3 We're excited about 1st Communion, too!

  2. As I think you know, my husband and I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and it sounds like we have a similar climate to yours (cool summers, snowy winters). Nobody here has air conditioning, either. We usually don't need it, but last week it was shockingly hot and humid. I bought a "Minnidip" adult kiddie pool and have been hanging out in it, reading some amusing cozy mysteries. I've given some thought to seeing if I could reserve a night at our local AmericaInn, just to have an air conditioned good night's sleep for a night, but there's something nice about putting on the oscillating fan at night and just dealing with it - it never lasts for long and I took time off from cleaning the house just to slow down. Plus, all of the tourists have booked the AmericaInn :)

    Also gin and tonics during cocktail hour are helping :)

    1. Hi Amy! Yes, I can imagine, LOL! You make an excellent point about slowing down to just take things in more, and you're forced to when it's that hot.

  3. Hi. I should have checked out your blog long ago when I first read "The Catholic Hipster Handbook" (which I just finished re-reading, after reading "Catholic Hipster: The Next Level" for the first time!). I've been a library assistant for thirteen years and a knitter for all my adult life. Cradle Catholic, too.

    Hope you get relief from the heat soon. So glad you have a date for Anne's First Holy Communion. I will keep both your kids in my prayers.

    My parish and diocese (in Rhode Island) resumed in-person Masses with strict social distancing four weeks ago. It was so good to be back.

    1. Hi Dianne, welcome! Sounds like we have a lot in common, yay! Thank you SO MUCH for the prayers for Anne. I really want her to be prepared, and being away from mass for all of these months hasn't been the greatest towards that end, but what could we do? I'm currently praying the St. Anne novena for her, and I so appreciate that you are praying for her as well!

      Yes, I agree, even with the unpleasant (but necessary) social distancinig, it feels SO GOOD to be back at mass! I went last week as well, and there were more people there (40ish, up from 26 the week before) and it felt even better than the week prior. I am optimistic that that will continue to be the case!


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