I gave up coffee for Lent... I miss it sorely. Hot tea is a poor substitute. To me it tastes worse with each sip. Yet I drink it in place of my coffee. This has made me realize something about Lent: Giving up something you love is a great practice for this penitential season. But taking on something that goes against your nature is perhaps more of a challenge and a starker reminder of Lent's sacrificial purpose.
I gave up coffee. And that's easy enough for me to do. Once I put it out of my head and stop thinking about it, it just slips out of my daily routine. But when I take a sip of tea I realize that I'm missing out on my coffee. It reminds me of that sacrifice every day. The more tea I drink, the more I miss my coffee. And with every sip I have something new to offer up.
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People at our parish are starting to do a better job with the response: "Lord, I am not worthy..." At least, this weekend there seemed to be more voices joining in. If we can nail that, then I think we pretty much have the new translation down...well, pretty much. There are a few slip-ups from time to time.
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Well, I used my Android tablet for the first time at Mass this weekend. I only used it during the first two readings and the Psalm (all while sitting), and also for the Eucharistic prayer (while kneeling). This gave me a chance to use it discretely, with less likelihood of anyone noticing. While I was sitting, it lay comfortably on my lap, out of sight from anyone around me. While kneeling, I kept it on the pew in front of me so that I could look down and follow the text. Anytime I stood, I refrained from using it so as to not draw attention to it. I'm pretty sure that no one around us noticed the device at all. And if they did, it looks much like a book (with the cover I bought for it), and so it would simply appear as though I were holding a printed missal.
This was a good first run. It allowed me to test the ease of use and also how comfortable I would be using an e-device at church. I would say that it was a success. The iMissal app is a breeze. Everything is on one page - from the first greeting and sign of the cross to the final dismissal - so if you get lost during Mass you simply scroll till you find the right text. There's no need to fumble with markers or flip from page to page as you would with a traditional book. The app has everything in one place for you. I was very pleased. And our kids seemed to take more interest in following along (which I am sure was mainly because a tablet is more "cool" than a printed page - but hey, when they show an interest you just go with it).
As for the comfort level... It's going to take some getting used to. Since I kept it low-profile, I was OK with it. It may take me awhile to feel comfortable using it throughout the whole Mass.Will I use it again? Yes...as long as I have not received my print missal, it's my only option. But when I do get my missal I will probably only use the tablet when I travel or as a preparatory tool to read the Sunday readings ahead of time. We shall see...