Every week I attend morning Mass on at least Monday and Tuesday, because the boys serve on those days. We show up ten minutes early, so I get to watch the boys light the candles, the other parishioners file in, and finally–just before the bell rings–the arrival of the 8:00 Club.
At least, that’s how I think of them. There are a few ladies who come in the side door at exactly 8:00 a.m. every morning and slide into the front two pews, usually edging their way around altar servers waiting to process in. These are not slackers, by any means: they are the ladies who make the parish tick, without whom all would fall into confusion. And they are never late–never–but always precisely on time. You gotta have skills to join the 8:00 Club.
This morning, just before communion, at a high and holy moment when all eyes were on the priest, one of 8:00 club purses began ringing–and ringing with one of those bouncy ring-tones that makes everyone want to jiggle in their seats. The poor lady leaped from the pew and hit the side door running, digging in her bag as though she had discovered a grenade. The priest momentarily struggled to keep a straight face, and then we all refocused on the mysteries at hand.
As Fr. Dave processed out past the front pew and out the side door at the end of Mass, his face was rigidly serious, but he rubbed his right forefinger over his left forefinger in the universal “naughty” sign.
You’re not going to catch the 8:00 club out every day–may as well enjoy it!