Sunday, March 30, 2008


At the 12 noon Mass on Sundays, the youth choir sings a rousing version of the Sanctus.
Güiro. Bongos. Cowbell. Conga line. Ritmo, muchachos, ritmo.

Nothing you’d find in the Liber Usualis.

The Hosanna chorus is the apex of the song’s enthusiasm. The stained-glass windows rattle. Folks clap and sway. Even Doña Clorinda in the front row by the sagrario gets momentarily distracted from her end-of-days rosary marathon.

One little guy, maybe four years old, wears eyeglasses, who’s always there with his mom actually anticipates the moment with a dance-like motion in his pew. He knows it’s coming. He stays with me through the Preface, arms extended like mine, his head trying to stay focused but his body slowly getting the better of him. He virtually explodes with holy power as the guitars and keyboard lead into the first “Santo, Santo, Santo!”

It is a weekly display of unfettered delight and religious innocence that I do not tire of watching. I muse nostalgically that the Almighty must revel in this shorty’s ecstasy as He did when David danced before the Ark of the Covenant.

Today, however, I discovered that our tiny dancer’s fervor is slightly misplaced.

He gets stuck on Hosanna, so it’s not unusual to hear him during communion or as we exit at the end of Mass, waving and smiling... and shouting the favorite word of his favorite song.

His mom says to me in the door of the church as they leave, “You know, Padre, Nico gets up early every Sunday and wakes me up with the same question.”

“Really, what’s that?”

“Mami, are we going to see Hosanna today?”

“To sing Hosanna?”, I ventured hopefully.

“No, No. To SEE Hosanna. You’re Hosanna and every Sunday we go to a fiesta at your house...”


A note to the mothers of our parish:

Speak to your children. Tell them who Jesus is. Convince them that God exists.
Explain to them the Holy Mass. Set them on the road of orthodoxy and warn them to look neither to their right nor their left lest they stray.

And in the meantime, just call me Hosanna...