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  • Writer's pictureFr. Daniel S.J. Scheid SCP

What is Father Dan Thinking? 4-14-24

“You have a busy schedule!” I’ve heard this many times from Haight-Ashbury parishioners who walk by our sidewalk sign or who follow All Saints’ or me on social media and see our posts.

 

They’re referring to our Monday through Thursday schedule of services that you see every week in the announcement section of the paper bulletin and in the newsletter emailed to you on Fridays.

 

All Saints’ is an anomaly when it comes to the number of daily services we hold. The multi-staffed Grace Cathedral doesn’t even hold as many as little-old-us.

 

To be sure, our weekday services – Morning, Noonday, and Evening Prayer, Mass, and Holy Hour – aren’t robustly attended, or even scarcely attended – in person or on the Facebook live-stream. Most times it’s me and maybe one other person. A big congregation might be four. So why do it?

 

I believe there’s great intrinsic, spiritual value in the regular corporate worship, and the corporate and individual prayer and meditation, that emanates from our sacred space. When the scriptures and prayers are read aloud, even if it is only my own ears that hear my own voice reading them, these words come to life and fulfill a purpose in a way that exceeds silent reading. “It shall not return to me [i.e. God] empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11b). I don’t know what God’s intents and purposes are, but I am glad to know that God trusts me enough to give me a small part to play.

 

I believe that the Daily Office and Daily Mass lectionaries expose the reader and hearer to a sustained, repeated sweep of the scriptures. The Church wants us to know our Bible well, and it gives us an easy-to-follow system to do just that.

 

I believe in the particular grace that’s found in the celebration of Mass by way of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. The term “Sacrifice of the Mass” is a bit old-fashioned these days, but it’s true: we remember Jesus’ sacrifice, once for all; and we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. I think it was the hockey great Wayne Gretzky who said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Why pass up the grace that God so freely offers us by celebrating this simple and profound act?

 

I believe there’s value in witness – that something is happening in this place, even if passersby don’t quite know what it is and can’t be troubled to stop in and find out. We’re doing something “churchy’ and our neighbors notice.

 

And, I’m rather weak and undisciplined in my own prayer life. Given an opportunity to slack off, or to find something better to do, I likely will. Our regular schedule keeps me on track and helps me live into not only my baptismal promises, but also the promises I made at my ordinations as deacon and priest. It’s a good method of accountability that I hope you’ll share with me. Check the schedule and, if you can, adjust yours to fit even one weekday service into your routine. Come, pray and worship with me!

 

God’s blessings and peace,                            


Dan+

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