Fourth of July, and Both Kinds at Mass! Whee!

United States of America flag.

I heard the occasional snap-crackle-boom of fireworks last night. Someone in the neighborhood, I’m guessing.

Sauk Centre’s municipal fireworks show is usually during Sinclair Lewis Days. I don’t know if that’ll happen this year, what with the drought. And the racetrack’s intermittent pyrotechnic displays are one with Nineveh and Tyre, along with the racetrack.

But someone, somewhere is honoring my culture’s traditions: or being a public nuisance, from another perspective.

Me? I enjoy municipal and private-sector fireworks. In moderation.

On the other hand, there was that time, a few years back, where we heard — and felt — a whacking great BOOM!!

Turns out, someone had been planning to burn dead timber and other combustibles.

No problem there. This is a rural area, so our rules and regulations aren’t nearly as tangled as a big city’s.

These folks had a fair amount of burnable stuff, so they’d dug a considerable hole, shoved the trash in, banked earth around it and poured in — diesel oil, I think it was — to get the fire started.

Which would have been a good idea, except for one thing: there wasn’t much wind, so conditions were just right for a little diesel fuel vapor to accumulate in that hole.

Result, when they introduced an ignition source, was an abrupt exothermic reaction between atmospheric oxygen and petroleum vapor.

A whacking great BOOM, in other words. Nobody, happily, was killed: or even hurt. Shook up a bit, though, I’d think.

Which doesn’t have much to do with Independence Day fireworks, now that I think of it.

I did, however, see a party cannon in the local Walmart; but never mind that. What I planned on mentioned happened at Mass today.

The Eucharist, COVID-19 and My Home Parish

The masked Minnesotan.Minnesota hasn’t had the worst possible experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we’ve had our share of deaths, illness and assorted inconveniences.

I emphatically did not enjoy missing Holy Week Masses last year.

But a pandemic was in progress, state civil authorities said that getting together in big crowds was a bad idea, and our archdiocese and diocese authorities agreed. To an extent.

So public Mass was a no-go for months. I didn’t like that, but acting as if death and disease don’t matter isn’t required: working for the common good is.

I’ve talked about that before, fairly often. There’s the usual links to what I’ve said at the end of this journal entry.

At any rate, public Masses resumed — with precautions that I didn’t enjoy, but observed. Again, it’s a ‘common good’ thing.

What I missed most was receiving Holy Communion under both kinds at Mass. That’s churchspeak for receiving bread and wine: the Body and Blood.

What we were doing was just fine, a real Eucharist and all that. And what we’d been doing before the pandemic was just fine, too.

Receiving under both kinds isn’t standard procedure for this region, but the parish had gone through proper channels and gotten the okay for our ‘both kinds’ Eucharist. That’s something I hadn’t pushed for, but which I was and am glad someone did.

Until the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just having public Masses again was great.

I missed the ‘both kinds,’ not because I think it’s the only ‘real’ Mass or that I’m holier that way: but just because I like it. The Eucharist seems more complete that way, even though I know the standard procedure for our area is good, too.

So this year’s Independence Day Mass was particularly special.

Pandemic precautions have been gradually eased back. And today we had the Eucharist under both kinds again.

And, like I said, I like it.

I’d have been okay if we didn’t resume the practice, but I’m glad we did.

More, or less, of the same; America, COVID-19 pandemic and worship:

About Brian H. Gill

I was born in 1951. I'm a husband, father and grandfather. One of the kids graduated from college in December, 2008, and is helping her husband run businesses and raise my granddaughter; another is a cartoonist and artist; #3 daughter is a writer; my son is developing a digital game with #3 and #1 daughters. I'm also a writer and artist.
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