Yesterday, I was the only one in my family at the 12:00 Mass. Nobody was sick–everyone else had gone to other Masses, at other parishes, due to commitments they had.
Usually we’re all at Mass together, though we don’t all sit together. I’m in the folk group. When Big Brother is home from college, he plays bass and/or mandolin with us. Little Brother usually sits with us and sings. Middle Sister is an altar server, and since Father isn’t going to let Little Brother serve until he’s a fourth-grader, Middle Sister remains on the job. It’s rare that anyone else ever shows up to serve. TheDad is the only one of us who’s “in the pew” at Mass. But he spent years and years and years on pew duty with the kids so that I could play in the folk group.
But now Big Brother is back at school, where he’s playing the bass at the Campus Ministry Masses. Middle Sister sings in her school choir, and they were invited to sing at a Mass at one of the sending parishes. And Little Brother is in his school choir as well; on the first Sunday of the month, they sing at one of the parish Masses.
I notice my slowly-emptying nest most when Sundays roll around. Even more so than mealtimes, Sunday Mass has always been a family occasion. I am glad that all of my children are willingly participating–and giving of their time and talent–at Mass each week. But I miss those Sundays when we all would participate together, from various parts of the church.