Part of my work as a sacristan at my parish is making sure everything is ready for daily Mass. The cruets are filled with water and wine, the servers show up and are dressed and we have a priest!
During the summer months, when our parish grade school is on vacation, I train new servers at these morning Masses because these weekday Masses aren't quite so busy as weekend Masses and the servers are less likely to be nervous.
The unfortunate thing about this is I tend to be very busy minded, nervous myself, and very, very distracted during most of Mass hoping servers remember when to ring the bells, when to bring the book up to Father and how to pour the water from the pitcher over Father's hands without drowning him during the Offertory.
I know, I know, I should not concern my spirit with trivial things during Mass. I've tried not to think about it, but when you work with the human side of our beloved priests who, God bless them, always point out to you, the Server Trainer, when someone messes up, doesn't do something they way he wants it done, (and each priest has their own way of doing things, even during the holy Mass,) it tends to make me a nervous nellie.
Please don't think I'm complaining about my priests, I love them all and want to be there to help. It's just kind of hard sometimes, to mind read all of them!
I also love my servers, new ones and experienced ones. There are ones I love to death because they are always prompt, know what to do, always help and are alert all during Mass.
I also have what I call Zombie Servers, those precious children who nod their mute heads after you have explained everything to them, several times, walked them through what they do during Mass, given them booklets to memorize, test on and walk them through again, who will stand perfectly still during the entire Mass, not remembering where to go, when to go, or how to kneel.
Anyway, this morning, just like all other mornings, I was getting everyone in their place, ready to process out and I took my place near the front.
It was during the homily I suddenly felt the presence of my dad, who died two years ago, like he was patting me on the back telling me I was doing a good job, and suddenly I began remembering friends and family who had died whose presence I was feeling really strongly at Mass.
This continued all during the rest of Mass, individual names, popping up in my head, like they were turning around smiling at me from the altar.
It was the most peaceful beautiful feeling. I know that at every Mass all of the angels are there taking our gifts and especially the gift of the Son to the Father. I also know all of our beloved dead are there celebrating with us. But this was a different time, and it is hard to explain. It wasn't my brain wandering, everything was totally focused on the sacrifice of the Mass. But to see all of those wonderful relatives and friends also sharing it with me moved me to tears.
I thanked God for giving me that feeling this morning. It was a wonderful reminder of what I am there to celebrate even amidst the getting ready feeling. This huge feast we get ready for every day is the most awesome supper of our families and friends both here and having gone before us we have to celebrate.