To Stand or to Kneel: An Unrelated Anecdote
While His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan can’t be here every Friendsday Wednesday, I am so excited to introduce to you one of the coolest aunts I know, Shana Sampia! Her misadventures are my favorite. Did you know she can play the piccolo AND the oboe? Probably not at the same time. But you never know with Ms. T, Enjoy! Her story today is one about Standing and Kneeling but has absolutely nothing to do with the current political climate. What a relief!
Enjoy laughter at yourself and the little things daily,
Hey framily of the internet! I am Ms. T, Katie’s friend of Roman proportions (a story for another time) and I am here today to tell you a story.
Spoiler alert: it’s really embarrassing… for me… not you, you’re fine.
I didn’t want my first contribution to AskAuntKatie.com to be something that incriminates and mortifies me but when you call one of your best friends and she almost hurts herself laughing, you know that the story must be shared. Your ego will just have to recover. Have I stalled enough yet?......
Okay…. Here we go!
I sing as a cantor at one of our fine Catholic churches here in Lafayette, LA; I also substitute on numerous musical instruments when necessary. I love doing this and pray that it brings every congregation I encounter closer to God. He perfects my gift on its way to your ears. Trust me when I say I’m not that good; the Holy Spirit is totally at the mixing board!
With that being said, I am not a daily mass attendee, but I spend a lot of time in front of people during mass. (Canter Confession!) I must admit that during some of the multiple masses I attend on Sundays I am often in prayer about something totally different than I should be. There! I said it! My lack of attention is an important detail for today’s tale of woe.
A couple of weeks ago, in front of the entire church, I skipped the “Sanctus”.... The “Holy”.... The thing we sing with the angels….
Yeah…. I just… skipped it.
Oh! That’s not a big deal you say…. Everyone else in mass would disagree.
No one Kneeled! NO ONE! Because not only did I skip the “Sanctus” which cues the congregation to kneel... I sang the “Alleluia” signaling the beginning of the Gospel. When you Stand!
The congregation just stood there and stared at me…. Then at the priest….. Then back at me…. Then back at the priest…. Who expertly saved me.
Here’s the thing... Even after the congregation stood, head swiveling between me and the pastor like the cutest meerkat mob you’ve ever seen (mob is the proper term--I googled it.) I STILL didn’t realize that I had made the mistake. I’m no theologian, but I know when to kneel down. I just kept thinking how weird it was that EVERYONE else in church had forgotten to kneel. Even as I walked out of mass, I still needed the priest, the organist, and two parishioners to explain to me what I had done wrong. My mind went completely blank. So by God’s grace, by the time I had figured out how embarrassed I should be, everyone who could witness it was gone! (Totally something I am praising God for!)
The Moral of the Story: even when you’re not completely there for God, He is completely there for you. Nothing but the grace of God would cause a room full of people to show you such mercy instantaneously. However, HE is also the ultimate teacher. He definitely taught me to keep paying attention to Him in mass…. Especially when I’m in front of the whole congregation.
Shana Sampia is the band director and reigning Teacher of the Year at Carencro Middle School in Carencro, LA. She has got jokes, is musically obsessed, and strives to be the favorite aunt of her plethora of nieces and nephews. When asked why she loves cantoring on the weekends, she readily admits, “I need double the church--I’m a mess.”