The New Springtime

El Indigente was a simple diocese basking in the new springtime of the Church following the Second Vatican Council. The Vatican sent the diocese two liturgical experts to update the liturgy yet again for the 60th anniversary of the Novus Ordo Missae. The diocese would never be the same again.

Location: Jacksonville, FL

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Chapter 11 - A Super Sunday

The day after he ran into Angelica, Father Sheppard took the day off, spending the day in prayer, even saying a Mass in private for the first time in his life. The day after that, Sunday, Luvmuffin had a special liturgy set up. Benny was wearing his normal green vestments, while the other clerics were wearing special vestments for the day. Luvmuffin wore his special green and silver vestments, waiting to go out into the dark sanctuary, when Father Sheppard came to speak with him quietly, visibly shaken.

“Deacon, don’t you think this is a little irreverent?”

Luvvy responded, not as discrete as Benny, “C’mon, man! We’re just having a little fun.”


“Excuse me.” With that, Luvmuffin went out into the sanctuary.

The entire sanctuary was dark, except for a spotlight on the podium. Luvvy walked up to the podium to begin the announcements.

“Today is February 4, 2029. Some more scholarly liturgists would call this the 5th Sunday in Ordinary time. But we all know it as Super Bowl Sunday. Now, I know what a sacrifice it is for you all to miss the game and come to church on Super Sunday. Do we have a treat for you.”

After he said this, a fully dressed football official jumped in front of the podium and blew a whistle. Luvmuffin put on a football helmet and said, “It’s game time at Frannie’s Cathedral. Let’s play ball.”

The lights went on and the curtain peeled back, revealing the whole sanctuary decked out in a football theme. The procession started. Blanche led the way, wearing a cheerleading outfit, replete with pompoms. Bishop Sugarloaf followed, carrying a football and wearing a Detroit Lions jersey. George Yessman followed him, wearing a New Orleans Saints jersey, and Fr. Sheppard sheepishly followed, clearly nervous and uncomfortable. They threw the football around as they processed up to the altar. Finally, from the altar, Bishop Sugarloaf threw the football into the congregation.

Bishop Sugarloaf began the day’s liturgy, saying to Luvmuffin, “What a special day it is, Deac.”

“You mean Sunday, the Lord’s Day?”

“No, I mean Sunday the football day. (canned laughter) Of course, the theme for today’s liturgy will be Super Bowl LXIII. George here has the game on his radio, and he’ll give us updates from time to time. Won’t you, George?”

Unfortunately, George is preoccupied at the moment, as he is barking and moving his body to music.

Nudging him, the bishop said, “George?”

Taken off guard, George got the game on the radio and said, “Oh! Sorry, Bish. They have just kicked off.”

Changing subjects, Sugarloaf said, “Well, we need to take care of something before we start, though, George.” A melancholy piano came in. “You know, ever since I’ve taken over this diocese, you’ve been my right hand man, the man I could lean on for advice and support over the years. It is my privilege to announce…”

“Well, thank you, Bish. I want to…”

“Not yet, George.”


“It is my privilege to announce that this mountain of firm leadership, this bedrock of principle, this man, who puts the good of his flock before all else, is being rewarded for his good work.”

Luvmuffin chimed in, “You don’t say, Bish.”

Starting to cry, as did Luvmuffin, Sugarloaf said, “That’s right, Luvvy. George has just been appointed the new Bishop of San Francisco-Seattle.” This announcement garnered some real applause mixed with the canned stuff.

George began his speech. “Thank you, Bish. I couldn’t have done it without your help, big guy. I would just like to say…”

Sugarloaf interrupted, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. What’s the score?”

“Oh.” George again listened in until he had a score. “New Orleans has just punted. Detroit has the ball at their 43, no score early in the first quarter.”

Luvvy continued, “Thank you, George. Now here to announce the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, here are Marv Albert and Dick Vitale. Take it away, fellas.”

The right stage has been turned into a scorer’s table. Here we see two men with headsets. Marv has a dead raccoon tied to his head with duct tape, while Dick is balder and smilier than ever.

Marv began this part of the liturgy. “Thank you, Deacon. Now before we explain why we’re still broadcasting well into our 80’s, Dick, let’s discuss the x’s and o’s of the liturgy.”

Dick continued, “Thank you, Marv. Well, the liturgy is broken down into two parts, the Liturgy of the Word, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist…”

While Marv and Dick were explaining the liturgy to the peeps, Bishop Sugarloaf took an interest on Benny, who seemed to be very reticent to participate. He said, “Benny, are you OK?”

“I’m not feeling so well, Your Excellency.”

“Then just sit down and enjoy the show.”

With that, Benny returned unnoticed to the sacristy, visibly shaken with what was happening. In fact, he disrobed and refused to watch. He said a Rosary behind the Church instead. He returned to the sacristy after the Rosary.

When he returned, Benny took a peek into the sanctuary. While George was listening to the game, Sugarloaf elevated the ciborium and the chalice, assisted by Luvmuffin and narrated by Marv and Dick. Then he turned for the washing of the hands.

Marv said, “Not much of a cleaning job, there, Dick.”

Dick said, “It may not seem like much, but the symbolism is fantastic. ‘O Lord, cleanse me of my sins.’ It’s like he’s saying, ‘Sins, go away! It’s Eucharist time in the Big House! You’re not wanted here!’ It doesn’t get any better than that for the prep work, baby.”

Marv said, “I believe Bishop Sugarloaf would like to say something right now.”

Indeed he did. He said, “Can we get a score, George?”

answered, “Yeah, boss, uh… Detroit is leading New Orleans 31-3, early in the third quarter.”

Luvmuffin responded, “Sounds like the Lions are slaughtering the Saints.”

Sugarloaf took the bait, “It’s a good thing it’s only football, huh?” The clerics found that amusing, as did the sound man’s equipment.

Dick Vitale then chimed in, “That was a nice piece of pastoral work to prepare the faithful to receive the Eucharist.”

Marv said, “Now Dick, what is needed for the Host to turn into the Body of Christ?”

Dick responded, “Well, Marv, for a valid consecration, it must be a pure wheaten Host. I checked it before the liturgy, Marv, and we have the right matter here in the Cathedral.”

“What else does it need besides the right matter?”

“Besides matter, it takes the right form, which is the words used at the Consecration, and the right intention. The intention needed is to confect the sacrament as the Church would have us do, and the form is the words, ‘This is my body’.”

The Mass had gone on as usual, and Bishop Sugarloaf had chosen Eucharistic Prayer #26, which is used for football emergencies, so he was already at the Consecration. Bowing at the altar, Bishop Sugarloaf said, “This is My Body, which will be given up for you.”

He then lifted the Host in the air. While the Host was still lifted up, Dick said, “The form is good, Marv, but what about the intention?” At this, while holding the Host in the air, Sugarloaf gave a toothy grin and a thumbs-up sign.

Marv said, “Yes, and it counts!”

This announcement is met with canned applause. After the Consecration, the clerics on the altar gave each other high fives and Luvmuffin and George exchanged headbutts at George's expense, seeing as he wasn't wearing a helmet.

Dick responded, “Awesome, baby. The Big Guy is in the house. Welcome, Big J. Sugarloaf is a confectionator extraordinaire, baby.”

At this scene, Father Sheppard walked away from the sacristy door, visibly shaking. It took him another ten minutes to garner the strength to return to the sacristy door to watch. When he finally did return, the ministers had already received the Sacred Host, and now Bishop Sugarloaf was drinking the Precious Blood. He finished the cup and handed it to George.

George said, “You didn’t backwash this time, did you?”

Sugarloaf said, “Shh!” Then to the congregation, he said, “Now, to distribute Communion, we have a surprise for you.”

True to the Feast Day, two vendors come down the middle two aisles, just like at a sporting event. One had a sign saying “Consecrated Hosts” and the other had a sign saying “Consecrated Wine”. The Hosts vendor was saying, “Get your Consecrated Hosts here. Crunchy, bite sized morsels of Divinity.” The Precious Blood vendor had cans with pictures of Jesus, and said, “Lord! Lord Lite!” This was more than Benny could take. He ran out the door back to the Cathedral rectory.


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