CINDY THE SACRISTAN...
Cindy goes to the ballet...
Cindy has always loved ballet. As a child she had lessons for 4 years. She has long graceful arms and hands but her body was not supple with a rubber spine as some of the ballet stars seem to have been blessed with. So her childhood dream of becoming a ballerina remained a dream.
This week Cindy attended an end of year exhibition by the final year students of the Australian Ballet School. It was a spiritual experience for Cindy. She is allowing us to peek into a page of her 'secret diary' for explanation.
Cindy's Diary — September 2006
As I walked into the beautiful theatre with its plush red
decor, my pulse quickened. The sense of expectation in the muffled conversation
as people found their seats was palpable. Immediately I thought of how
similar it was in some ways, to coming into the church for Mass with the
little buzz of people having a quick chat before the ceremony gets under
Translating all this back to the pews...
We shall leave Cindy with her thoughts as she ponders the presence of God in all created things and experiences.
Perhaps the Eucharist is present in this world in so many ways we miss the obvious. God's presence is so drenched within every atom of creation — we fail to notice.
When Cindy puts away all the hymnbooks left in the seats this weekend, she will hear the haunting music of the swans echoing in her head. Her heart will feel the passionate love of Odette and ultimately her broken heart in Swan Lake. As Cindy leaves the church spic and span, ready for the weekend weddings, she will imagine the Swan Lake Prince and Princess floating towards heaven in their swan shaped carriage — those poignant heart-wrenching moments at the conclusion of her favourite Swan Lake ballet. The divinely inspired music captures the action and speaks silent words.
Yes, when Cindy turns on the altar lights this weekend she will imagine the altar coming to life welcoming the people of God to the great banquet at the table of Jesus. As parishioners struggle to their feet singing another old hymn, she will hear the distant sound of the crowd in the red plush seats welcoming the dancers.
As the presiding priest walks towards the altar, she will remember the quickened heart beat and excited expectation of the audience at the ballet — knowing the joy that awaits them for the next few hours. The priest however, will make the Sign of the Cross, greet the people and immediately remind them they are sinners in need of forgiveness.
She will hope the Reader can at least be understood and give correct pronunciation for those strange names of thousands of years ago in the Old Testament Readings. Will the homily be as uplifting as Swan Lake Act 3, when the black swan Odile has the audience screaming and gasping with delight as she executes 32 pirouettes in quick succession? I doubt it. Maybe some vocal variety from the priest would add more interest to keep people focused. Maybe he could yell now and again to re-gather the attention of those nodding off? No. It will all be very civilized and correct.
The most action Cindy has seen at Mass recently occurred when a parishioner sneezed violently during the quiet time after Communion and accidentally passed wind during the process. People for 3 seats around were rolling around laughing and the priest looked blankly at them wondering what on earth was happening. It was delightful.
There is a time for everything under heaven as we hear this week in Ecclesiastes — a time to be born and a time to die — a time for the ballet and a time for the Eucharist.
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