I was helping at a Confirmation. All was going at least OK, until it was time for the final blessing. The bishop gave the final prayer, then one of the pastors (two parishes were doing Confirmations here) went to speak.
And speak.Embed from Getty Images
I don’t speak much Spanish and he only spoke in Spanish, so I didn’t quite catch all of it. But he thanked everyone for coming. Thanked the bishop. Thanked the confirmandi. Had applause for everyone. Reminded the confirmandi that they could take pictures with the bishop after Mass. Then still wouldn’t shut up.
He talked for at least 10 minutes, during which the bishop started to lean a bit more on his staff. And develop that staring-daggers stare.
I was in the choir loft; everyone else was downstairs but I had been assigned to do a postlude. (I was singing for the rest, not playing.) So I sat there, and sat there, and sat there.
Finally, he finished. The bishop gave the final blessing. They did the last song. I started my postlude, nice and loud.
And then the pastor started talking again.
I turned down the organ to let him speak. Surely, he just had a quick announcement. That happens. He finished, and I turned the volume back why is he talking again? I’ve started and can’t stop until I’ve finished the piece. Shut up, monsignor. Shutupshutupshutupshutup. At some point, this just becomes extremely inconsiderate. He talked through virtually my entire postlude.
Dude. Monsignor. C’mon. Your folks can figure out how to take a picture. You don’t need to help them. I went downstairs, steaming. The music director was mad, too — “this isn’t a praise meeting,” she grumbled. The pianist for the rest of the Mass totally sympathized.
A few days later, I saw the parish deacon, who was near the bishop during that Mass.
“What a disaster,” he said, referring to the visiting pastor’s inability to shut up.
So let this be a reminder to all pastors, especially Catholic ones. A: Don’t take over a Mass with the bishop. He will not forget, and he will be annoyed. B: It’s not all about you, chief. Don’t forget that. C: Do not talk over an organist’s postlude. He will not forget, and he will be very angry.