November 21, 2010

Give Thanks

This Thursday, in the United States, is Thanksgiving Day. Every day is, and should be, a day of Thanksgiving. Essentially, the official holiday is in place for three essential reasons:

1) A day off work
2) A day to eat too much
3) Football

Additional reasons may include:

1) Fighting with family members you only see once a year
2) Strategizing The Day After shopping trip
3) Drinking yourself into a stupor of self-pity and loathing
4) Manning the store, literally, because you are a Convenience Store clerk and the public needs somewhere to buy nutmeg at 3:00.

A few of you may actually attend Mass (and you should because it's also the Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria this year-woo-hoo!). Some of you may run into some wacky stuff at the, uh, Mass. I have in my life attended liturgies that made me cranky.

Mass is always a time to give Thanksgiving to God for the Sacrifice of His Son. Thru the Sacrifice we actually have a chance of not going straight to Hell. What can be better than that? Yet, some of us forget. Some of us forget every week that the Mass is not about them.

But, on Thanksgiving, the selfishness seems to be more in evidence. Spending the day thinking only of satisfying yourself and your needs seems to be a complete defeat of the purpose of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is not a day to give thanks to God that you are fabulous and not as stupid and sinful as everyone else.

Which brings me to one of my all-time favorite pet peeves: Open mic at Mass. If you don't know what I'm talking about, give thanks to God (lol). But, really, I'm serious.

I used to attend a "mass" at a church that had open mic on two occasions: Thanksgiving Day and New Year's Day (for some of us New Year's Day is supposed to be the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God). Open mic on Thanksgiving Day was an opportunity for all of us to listen to 20 subordinate clauses in search of a sentence. I hated it. Let's face it; what is an occasion of "thanks" for one person, may be a complete snoozefest to another. However, if we are all at Mass together, it occurs to me that we have something to give thanks for in common: God. Any blessings we've had in the past year came from and thru Him so why are we spending the Liturgy, established to do just that, talking about ourselves?


Blogger Ray from MN said...

I think I was at one of those open mic events, probably at your old parish, a very long time ago.

They are difficult to endure and after about 30 seconds, I would imagine most of the congregation is meditating; on anything else but what is being said.

November 21, 2010 6:12 PM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...

Thanks for a good post. BTW, this year Thanksgiving falls on my daughters Name Day--y'all share a patron.

I remember open mike masses in the 70s--they didn't bother me then. But i was gong to Mass on campus stoned gourdeless then. it's the only way they made sense.

November 21, 2010 8:19 PM  
Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I so love Thanksgiving. It is one of the warmest, cosiest holidays of all. Oh how I love going to my sister's house with all of her children and their children and the pets in their holiday outfits. The reminiceses, the banter, the hugs, the kisses, the lovely holiday trim. It's one of my favorite days. Though it comes around each November, it never get tiresome - something is always new and family bonds, as well as close friendships are always renewed.

Thank you for this beautiful and inspiring post Catherine. May your holidays be merry and gay!

November 21, 2010 9:21 PM  
Blogger belinda said...

Miss Cathy, you forgot to mention my family favorite holiday activity of days gone by- tag team head games. hahaha
I'm just kidding , I don't play anymore.

Now days I just eat until the pain goes away. Again- I'm kidding... mostly..... pretty much.... ehhhh.. not so much.

Darn! I can't breath in these pants!!!

November 21, 2010 11:01 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

I bet if Terry went to an open mike Mass, he'd start singing a Jamiroquai song. And then Cathy would stand up and start dancing along.

November 22, 2010 7:56 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ray: I bet they feel a song coming on!
Redneck: I think stoned is the only way to attend an open mic mass
Anyone: If you believe Ter's comment, raise your hand!
Belinda: Sounds like my family plus food coma!
Larry: Babe, that is SO 2008. Ter has converted me to his flash mob style.

November 22, 2010 7:27 PM  
Blogger belinda said...

I was going to write about the insincerity of Mr.Terry's post but I didn't want to cause any trouble.

Cathy, seriously, I can't believe that the murder rate doesn't go up after the chit-chatting around the Thanksgiving table. I think the food coma helps and also football - something to occupy the brain. I think many people end the day wounded. :(

My husband said,"Why would anyone want to shop on Thanksgiving?!"
-He doesn't have a clue.

November 22, 2010 7:59 PM  
Blogger Georgette said...

Cath, I am imagining that open mic to be like the free-for-all "Lord Hear Our Prayer" segment of daily Mass at one of the parishes in my neck o' the woods--it can go on way too long. Sigh.


Ter, I agree with you wholeheartedly, but what I want to know is, Who the heck is Pollyanna and why does everyone tell me I remind them of her?

November 22, 2010 8:01 PM  
Blogger belinda said...

I've been to an open mic at a Charasmatic mass before.

You would sit and pray after communion and individuals would walk to the front and tell others what the Lord had said to them during the quiet time or they would just shout it out from where they stood.

I always thought it was interesting that these people never said things like - "The Lord says's I suck and he's suggested that you and I make some immediate changes in our lives and some of these changes are going to hurt."

But instead everything was always about how very much God loves us and accepts us just as we are - no need to change a thing .

November 22, 2010 10:05 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...


Kinda reminds me of fortune teller in the newspapers;

or reports of reincarnation by those who believe in it and who happene to have been one of Cleopatra's handmaidens or a general in Napoleon's army.

I can't give a cite, but reincarnation, in the real Hindu tradition, means you could come back as an angleworm if your karma is bad. But the Hindu evangelists dropped that part when they came over here to recruit for their side.

November 22, 2010 10:46 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Cath - well, Terry is old school, after all.

November 23, 2010 7:54 AM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...

Gee Ray, in all my past incarnations is was poor, stupid peasant with bad breath, except for the one I was a leperous outcast

November 25, 2010 1:13 PM  
Blogger belinda said...

You can always count on I.R. to keep it real. hahahaha

November 26, 2010 7:51 AM  

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