Friday, April 21, 2006

A Candle Rescue

Kelly Clark describes some "technical difficulties" experienced in the lighting of the Easter Candle during a daily Mass. She had a bigger point to make, and it's worth the jump over there to check it out, but it put me in mind of a "technical difficulties" story of my own.

Big Brother was privileged to be an Altar Server two years ago at Middle Sister's First Holy Communion. He has never been tall for his age, and that presented a big problem when he stood, snuffer in hand, to light the Paschal candle. There was just No Way he could reach it. Naturally the church was full of people, and before long everyone was whispering about his predicament.

He's a resourceful guy, so when he couldn't reach it from the floor he climbed the pulpit steps and leaned across. Close--but not quite there. More whispers and murmurs from the crowd. I wanted to rescue my kid so badly but I'm not tall either, and that candle was huge.

Finally from out of the crowd came someone we haven't seen in two years--a dad whose son used to be a Cub Scout with Big Brother, and whose daughter used to be in Middle Sister's class. She was making her First Communion that day too! This very tall dad, not a stranger to us, stepped up to the altar, whispered a reassuring word to Big Brother, took the snuffer and lit the candle.

I am quite sure that if a total stranger had rescued Big Brother, he would have wanted to sink right through a hole in the floor. It was a great relief that there was a person we knew sitting in the congregation, willing to step in and help out a kid who was trying very hard to hide his dismay at not being able to reach the candle. And surely it was not an accident that it worked out this way.

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