Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Melchizidek say what?

The Chrism Mass at the refurbished St. Peter's Cathedral
Last night at the Chrism Mass in Jackson, Bishop Latino reminded the congregation that the oils were given to parishes and missions. There the LEM (lay ecclesial minister) takes them and the sacramental minister uses them to anoint the sick and under certain circumstances confirm the catechumen. A few priests sacramental ministers, younger priests sacramental ministers, gasped when they heard that. Or more like made that "tut-tut" noise and an exasperated low growl.

It's not they were shocked to hear they could "anoint". They knew that. It's the use of the term "sacramental minister". It's a term that has gotten to be synonymous with priesthood in the diocese or as one feisty DRE said, THE CHURCH OF A NEW PARADIGM. I like saying it "pair-a-digum" to make it sound like stupid people saying it.

The priests sacramental ministers then renewed their promises to the bishop and the Mass Eucharistic Celebration continued. Oils were then blessed and dispensed to the laity to bring back to their parishes, missions, communities, or collectives.

Oxford was represented by Skip and Sarah Langley. Skip will be baptized during the Vigil Saturday. By me, the sacramental minister. When Mass was over, they gave me the oils. Then we went out for dinner and discussed Batman, hexes, Siberia and prisons in Belize. The table next to me was presided over by Fr. Brian Kaskie, another priest sacramental minister of the diocese, and his entourage from McComb. He also had three native sons who are studying to be priests sacramental ministers in his company.

Sacramental ministers with a sacramental bishop
As you can tell, I am not too thrilled with being called a "sacramental minister". It's like calling a mother a "baby feeder" or an electrical engineer an "electrician" or a male nurse a "male nurse". It just doesn't sit right.

The Bishop did say that the oil of Chrism that is placed on a man's hands at ordination imprints a character upon him throughout eternity. I like that idea. Always have. But I'm just hoping that when I am called into the afterlife, do my just penance in Purgatory for my peccadilloes such as laziness, smoking, saying "poop" in front of kids and blogging snarky stuff,  the Lord would say to me as I enter the Kingdom, "You are a priest FOREVER in the line of Mechizidek!" and not, "Oh, it's a sacramental minister. We really don't need you up here. Plus, the laity can do almost everything you do anyway. If it weren't for ROME!!!" and then look at St. Peter really mean.

That Peter and his Romishness.