Corpus Christi in Honolulu

Flowers and cross

Aloha! Today, Catholic churches celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, still often called by its Latin name Corpus Christi. This celebration is close to my heart because for the many years that I belonged to Blessed Sacrament parish, we celebrated it as our parish name day. Even though that is no longer my parish, I still feel a special connection to the day.

This year was special because I got to attend mass at St. Patrick Church in Honolulu, where my daughter E and her husband were married and where they serve in the music ministry. My son-in-law is away doing research for his doctoral dissertation, but I attended the 8:30 mass at which their choir sings. The assigned cantor wasn’t able to make it, so E stepped in to do it, which was a lovely bonus for me.

One of the things that drew my attention today was the crucifix, which is carved wood. I was thinking about how appropriate that the corpus on the cross is brown, because Jesus’s skin would have been brown. So often, Jesus is depicted with light skin, which a Jewish man living in the sun-drenched Mediterranean would not have had. I also noticed, as always, the colorful floral arrangement. One of the brothers at the monastery arranges the flowers from their garden every week.

Father C, who presided at E and L’s wedding, presided and preached today. I love how he can say so much with so few words. He used the image of an open hand receiving the host at communion to explain how we should be open to God’s love.

Father C has a tremor disorder, which causes his hands, especially his right hand, to shake markedly when they are outstretched. Yet, when he was praying the Eucharistic prayer and raising the host and the cup, he was able to still his hands.

I appreciated the opportunity to be there to celebrate this special day, with Beth leading us in song. I especially enjoyed singing “Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether,” a favorite hymn which I have not had the occasion to sing for several years.  The third stanza of the poem by Percy Dreamer begins:

All our meals and all our living
make as sacraments of you,
that by caring, helping, giving,
we may be disciples true.

Amen!

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A Thirty Hour Day

Yesterday was loooooong.

Our alarm rang at 4 AM so we could get to my parents’ place so they could help shuttle us to the airport for the first flight – a 6 AM to Philly. Yes, I know that at most airports we would have needed to arrive at the airport by 4 AM or sooner, but BGM is not like that.

We were delayed a bit by fog, but got to Philly in plenty of time to switch terminals and get breakfast before boarding a flight to Phoenix, which arrived early. So there was lunch and walking about the terminal and browsing the shops and finally boarding our flight to Honolulu, which also arrived early at about 5 PM Hawai’i Standard Time.

The rub is that HST is six hours earlier than Eastern Daylight Time, so our bodies felt like it was 11 PM – and we had gotten up at 4 AM.  It took a long time to deplane, get baggage, wait for the shuttle bus to the rental car lot, finish paperwork, drive to the hotel, and deal with check-in and parking garage issues. We were fading fast…

Fortunately, our daughter E arrived with dinner, a delicious pasta salad with zucchini, Parmesan, and almonds that she had prepared and a loaf of fresh Italian bread. We are staying in a condominium hotel, so we had a fully equipped kitchen and a table for supper. Seeing E for the first time since they visited for Thanksgiving last November – and the food – helped revive us despite the length of the day, although I collapsed into bed a bit before 9:00.

Adjusting to time change is not one of my better skills, but B and I managed to sleep until 3 AM and then to snooze off and on until 6:00.   It’s now 4:15 PM and I admit to being a bit tired. But E will be done with her work day soon and we plan to go out to dinner and visit for the evening, which I hope will keep me going until a reasonable bedtime.

I’m hoping to get settled into Hawai’i Time sooner rather than later.