Do you remember Wegman’s Weimaraners, the beautiful pictures and skits of the Weimaraner dogs with human arms? (William Wegman started all of that. Here’s an example.) And we hopefully all know the musical Cats. (Look up some photos quickly, if you need a frame of reference for the picture to have in your head of the style.)
Now, today at Mass, both of these things were relevant. My mom and I have had a somewhat silly time in Mass together the past several years, mostly due to a little book we found at, I believe, a dollar store. (It was a book of comic-type frames, based on The Bible and Christianity, and was entitled According to the Good Book. I can tell more about that another time, though.) We do not actively seek out distractions, of course, but we do inform the other if ever there is something truly worth noticing. This morning, after the priest had pointed out some facts relating to the scene choices of the stained glass windows, my mom leans over to me, and whispers that, “Baby Jesus has adult hands,” and “Saint Joseph is a lion… He was in Cats.”
Momentarily unable to comprehend, I noticed that she was looking at one of the windows. Sure enough, she was right. I let her know that I agreed with her, and that the baby Jesus reminded me of the Weimaraners with human arms. We said nothing more, but both struggled to calm ourselves from the our silent, trembling laughter.
A while later, the little girl in front of us, did something wonderful. She had already tickled us to silent chuckles earlier with an adorable, “Let us praaay,” mimicking even the tones of the priest, immediately after he had said it, as well as her unreal timing with leaning backward in her mother’s arms. During the singing of the Amens after the whole bread and wine changing to body and bread deal, the music powerful and faith being declared strongly through song, we look up to see this little girl facing her mother, held around the waist in her mother’s arms, leaning back as far as possible, arms draped down, hanging limply behind her, and her head dropped back… at the last “Amen”, she raised her arms straight up in the air, as though praying to and praising the great Lord above. It was truly beautiful, despite the comedy of the timing of her actions.
So now, this little girl, just as Mass is almost finished, finds the little envelopes at the end of the pew. The envelopes are for collection (donations) to the Church for a specific cause, and the cause was labeled with a golden starburst-shaped seal on the front of each envelope. When she finds the envelopes, she grabs them, and scoots back toward her older brother, and declares quietly, “I got invites!” The priest says another line or two, and then we hear her say, “Should we go?” I think my mom and I instantly began crying with laughter.
Another few moments later, we hear the brother say, “Your party lipstick,” and we see him doing her lipstick for her with a fake lipstick. I comment to my mother that ‘I bet Cats is playing at the party.’ And we continued crying with laughter.
Now, I am aware that this is not ideal Mass behavior, as we are well taught as children. We are nonetheless human, and so we have our little tidbits of fun at Mass here and there. Besides, it is a beautiful art to find unsuspecting joys in unsuspecting places. And come on, who wouldn’t agree that Saint Joseph must have been in Cats, based on that window?
The Nativity, as portrayed by today’s lovely stained glass window
The “Party Invitation”