Practice Makes Perfect
Deacon Szymon’s “Practice Mass”
As the regular 11am Mass on Saturday, March 11th, came to a conclusion, there was an unusual request and invitation. Msgr. Maloney announced that Deacon Szymon Galazyn would hold a “Practice Mass”, immediately following the end of the Mass that had just been celebrated. It was explained that the “Practice Mass” was, of course, not a Mass at all, but an exercise required by the diocese as part of Deacon Szymon’s training. Monsignor explained that a “congregation” at the “Practice” was not merely a good thing, but required. And so, Msgr. Maloney asked anyone who could stay for an additional twenty to twenty five minutes to remain in the pews to assist in creating the atmosphere of a regular weekday liturgy.
Being a “Practice”, there was no consecration or communion, but to a casual observer, who might have walked into the church during the exercise, the simulation would appear very real. Except, of course, for the fact the Fr. Saffron was also present at the front of the church and in the sanctuary videoing the entire event to fulfill diocesan requirements (thank you Fr. Saffron for providing the video from which the “Practice Mass” photos were created).
The sanctuary bell was rung and the “Practice Mass” began. Deacon Szymon entered the sanctuary, vested in priestly robes for Lent. The altar server George Sinnott and lector Ada Luz Torres preceded him. Opening prayers moved seamlessly to the first reading and the recitation of the responsary psalm. Deacon Szymon then proclaimed the Gospel. And the first half of the liturgy concluded with an abbreviated set of intercessions.
The “consecration” then took place with a piece of paper instead of a wafer, and empty cruets with no altar wine. “Communion” then followed with Deacon Szymon, the lector and altar server. The “Practice Mass” then concluded with the usual closing prayers and “final blessing”.
While the “Practice Mass” was in fact an exercise, it was never the less a moving and grace-filled experience for Deacon Szymon and all those present in the church. Deacon Szymon will celebrate a Sunday liturgy “Practice Mass” in May.
We wish Deacon Szymon well as he continues his journey toward the priesthood and trust that St. Anselm parishioners will keep him in their prayers as he completes his studies at Dunwoody Seminary. Deacon Szymon will be ordained at St. Joseph’s Co-cathedral on Saturday, June 3rd. When he has received ordination to the priesthood, “Fr.” Szymon will indeed celebrate Mass. His first liturgy as a priest will be at St. Anselm on Sunday, June 4th, at 12 noon. Gratulacje diakon Szymon!
All the Best,
The St. Anselm Publicity Committee