Bore da, as every schoolchild knows, is Welsh for good morning. Pronounced, it sounds a bit like BOH-ray dah. No, I don’t speak Welsh. Wish I did. These days I barely speak English. Why do you ask?
Meanwhile, good morning in Shona is mangwanani: mahn-gwahn-NAH-NEEH. Sort of. No, I don’t speak Shona, although at one time I knew the standard greetings. These days I barely speak English. Why do you ask?
Now that we can check the multilingual greetings off the list, how about we loosen up a little? (OK. WAIT. WE’RE NOT GOING TO HAVE AN ICEBREAKER ARE WE? PLEASE NO!) But carefully, for even as things are beginning to loosen up, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. Moreover, the governor’s Safer at Home order continues to limit the size of indoor gatherings to 10 people or fewer. How will this apply to worship spaces, you ask? That, dear friends, is not entirely clear. Tomorrow (Thursday) the pastors and parochial vicars from the 12 parishes that make up the Central East Deanery of the Archdiocese of Denver – including our own St. Ignatius Loyola (coordinates 39.75094321402187; -104.9603319168091, or thereabouts) will meet via Zoom to discuss things further. I’m hoping for more clarity as a result.
Regardless. We’re not going to rush into anything. We’ll continue to err on the side of safety. Resuming public masses isn’t just a matter of opening the doors and going back to what we were doing before the quarantine. That would be foolish at best. There are all kinds of things to consider, and there’s lots of planning to be done. And we’re going to need lots of help.
We’ve all heard it said that the dumb is the enemy of the dumber the barely adequate is the enemy of the absolutely inadequate the perfect is the enemy of the good. Fine. We’re Catholics. We’re talking about our communal worship in that which is most precious to us: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Even before the stay-at-home order we made some adjustments here and there. There will be more of that to come. But our worship will continue to be as beautiful and dignified as we can make it. Here too, we’re not going to attempt anything that hasn’t been thought through and well-planned.
It’s also true that we’re going to make some mistakes and we’re going to get some things wrong. In all of it we are asked to be flexible, good-natured and forgiving. We are called to make room for one another and to work together, and in fact each of us will be called to sacrifice something for the good of all. The pandemic has not ended. Instead, we are about to enter a new phase of the crisis. In some ways this phase will be more challenging and will demand more of us than sheltering in place. But I’m confident that we’ll get to the other side. Together, in Christ, knowing that love is the foundation of the world. Yá’át’ééh!