Have you ever wondered where the entrance procession at mass actually starts? The procession is meant to mirror the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem or likewise our journey through life as we process thru this world to eternal life. Like most of us, you were taught that the procession starts when the cross-bearer, the lectors, the servers, the deacon with the book of the Gospels and the presiding priest enter into the knave. The entrance procession therefore would begin in the foyer or does it?
What if we pull it back a little further? Could it actually start out in the parking lot as all the parishioners are walking into the church? We are all arriving for the same purpose supposedly with a similar frame of mind and prepared to worship our God. Why not move it out a little further as we travel down the street we see vehicles coming off all the side-streets also people walking. We appear to be following each other all headed in the same general direction. Could it be that we’re all processing to the church? Could this be the beginning of the entrance procession?
What if I live further away maybe in the country just outside of town? Just how far away from the church can we consider where the beginning of the entrance procession originates? What about from my driveway or garage regardless of how far away I live from my home parish or any church that I am about to attend at?
What are the consequences of such a radical approach? Let me suggest that this may require a drastic change of attitudes and behaviours associated with attending at mass. Let us imagine that it begins with getting up on Sunday morning. Am I aware, as I prepare myself physically by bathing, dressing and eating my breakfast possibly along with my family, that I am going to a mass our highest form of liturgy and prayer, an actual encounter with the living God? How does that affect my preparation? Is the atmosphere and ambiance calm and reflective maybe even prayerful? As we enter into the traffic am I composed and relaxed? Or am I under stress because of the actions of other possibly inconsiderate drivers, cutting me off, driving to slow, being late and other inconveniences? How do I react? Do I think about my reaction when shaking my fist, hooking the horn or yelling? How would I act if I were aware that driver was going to attend mass with me? Would I be able to leave my gift behind and seek to make up with my brother or sister before receiving the ultimate gift, Christ himself in the Eucharist?
Seems unrealistic or is it? What changes do I need to make in my life to strive and aspire for the higher goals?
Joseph Claude Bédard, Chair