24 August 2013

Caught off guard

The great medieval festival in honor of Saint Rufino is still being held here in Assisi; I believe it concludes tomorrow.

As part of the day's festivities, Bishop Sorrentino blessed two new members of the Balestrieri di Assisi, that is, two new crossbowmen for the city.

The ceremony began with a procession from the Piazza del Comune to the Cathedral of San Rufino, led by the Tamburini di Assisi, the drummers, who were followed by what might be called the color guard (I don't yet know the name for them in Italian), and various men and women of the Compagnia Balestrieri di Assisi.

His Excellency celebrated Mass, which I and two other priests concelebrated.  As the Sanctus began, the Master of Ceremonies leaned over to me and asked if I spoke Italian (I had been making use of the assistance of a small Missal of sorts).

Not thinking much of it, I answered, "Un poco" (a little).  As a former Master of Ceremonies, if a priest would have told me he spoke "a little" English, I would not ask him to take a part of the Eucharistic Prayer; suffice it to say that this particular MC did not think like me.

It wasn't long before a server was holding a microphone at my mouth and the MC pointed to the appropriate text for me to recite.  I was caught a bit off guard and stumbled with a couple of words, but I think I did decently well for my first time, thanks be to God.

After the Mass, and a bit before, really, I was able to visit with a former parishioner and her husband who have been vacationing in Italy.  It was the first of what I hope will be many visits from friends and family.

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