Skipping a Wedding Mass as Commentator

The Advent season is probably the most hectic season in the Catholic calendar. I'd venture to say the the Lenten second will come as a close second.

Why is it the most hectic?

December is still the "marryingest" month of the year. From the Wedding Mass schedule, I counted 17 couples getting married in our Parish church for December. Then there is the Simbang Gabi (Misa de Gallo) or the Dawn Masses, where for 9 days (a novena), Holy Masses are held twice in the early morning and another one in the evening. These dawn masses sometimes take their toll on the lectors and commentators assigned, especially when assigned on consecutive days.

And then there are the 2 Midnight Masses, one on Christmas Eve and another on New Year's Eve. These are in addition to the other regular Sunday Masses

Missing the Wedding Service as Commentator

I suppose my focus on the Dawn Masses somehow shifted my attention away from the other tasks which included the Wedding Masses.

I realized just now that I missed my Commentator role for a Wedding Mass.

It was an honest mistake. It totally slipped out of my mind. I suppose that putting my monthly calendar aside didn't help (I used the calendar's space for a Moringa science project). With the calendar out of my view, there was no constant reminder to myself.

I've never missed a Wedding Mass before and I felt a bit disappointed in myself. I asked the assigned lector how it went, but she said the wedding party had their own readers and commentator.

Now I could understand that they had their own readers. Sometimes this is preferred by the wedding couple and the parish allows it. But I couldn't believe that the church allowed an outside commentator. Although in doubt, I felt a bit relieved.

Wedding Pictures in Social Media - Facebook

Imagine my surprise when I saw photos in Facebook showing a wedding in our parish church. And that wedding was the one where I should've been the commentator. I saw the photo because the mother of the groom happened to be my Facebook friend!

I chatted with her briefly, apologizing for missing the wedding of her son. She was more amused than angry after learning it was me who was the missing commentator at the wedding. But of course they were not happy because they had to wait longer since the commentator didn't come.

The officiating priest just proceeded with the wedding without a commentator.

Apology to the Bridegroom's Mom

I had to explain to my friend, the groom's mom, that this was my first time to miss a wedding, citing the "busyness" of the month with the church activities. She kidded me, saying, if she had her way, she would've done the commentator's job as she's a lector in another parish. She also claimed some lapses in her son's wedding sequence like the timing of the veil and cord.

Anyway, I also called by phone, the head person in charge of the wedding schedule. I explained to her what happened. Being a veteran in this matter, she was quite considerate and quickly understood my position. In the end, I realized she was easy on me because, one time, I readily agreed to take on on a commentator job that she gave me. This was for another wedding when the assigned commentator became sick and that I was her last resort.

My lesson in all this? Be sure to mark all important church activity on the calendar dates and keep the calendar visible at all times.

The Need for Mass Commentators

This brings me to the conflicting opinions about mass commentators.

On the one hand, there is this often talked about notion that commentators are not really needed in the mass. The argument is that the officiating priests can take on the commentator's role easily. This may be true. In other countries, there are no mass commentators, and the mass can go on without them.

Then, on the other hand, the commentator's role is often the most critiqued. I suppose it's because the mass commentator is seen during the entire mass compared to the lectors who are in front and speak only for the readings and Prayer of the Faithful.

Many times, the commentator is criticized for how they stand, sit, kneel, use the microphone, wear their attire, and other mannerisms (blah, blah, blah). I've heard ridiculous comments on how commentators wear their hair, especially the ladies. They're criticized for not wearing a headband, not wearing the hair in a bun or ponytail, etc.

There are so many critiques and comments (hardly are there any praises). It seems to give me an impression of how so very important a commentator is.

Well, the point is this. If mass commentators are not needed, why not just take them out from the mass? Maybe then these criticisms and know-it-all critics can all stop.