“Welcome to our parish, Father. Do you have the Mass this morning?” grumbled the woman in the sacristy. “Yes. I’ll be taking your good pastor’s place at all three Masses today,” the replacement priest replied. “Anything I should know?” “Well, Father, we prefer no incense; it sets off the smoke alarm. No sprinkling rite either, as a courtesy to worshipers with eyewear or hair gel. Also, our longstanding tradition at the first Mass is no music; it incites the crowd.” There was an undeniable reverence at the early-morning Mass of solitude that bespeaks transcendence. When bells sounded during the Eucharistic Prayer because someone had forgotten to silence a cell phone, the snoring was only momentarily disrupted. Before the next Mass, an usher reported that a mouse was in the confessional, which doubled as a collection-basket storage closet. “Release him! Set him free!” commanded the priest, evidently a Franciscan. “Father,” retorted the usher, “the mouse has been dead for days. Surely there will be a stench.” During the Liturgy of the Word, the lector turned to the wrong ribbon marker and read, “If you please, my Lord…I am slow of speech and tongue” (Exodus 4:10). The priest had sacrificed at least ten minutes on Saturday to compose his homily. Upon delivery, it was immediately drowned out by an agitated, crying baby. Faces with equally agitating glares then turned in the direction of the mother and child during the unabated tantrum. The preacher abandoned his homily and uttered with resignation: “Go and ponder the meaning of the words, ‘Church cry rooms are for gathering crying babies, not cobwebs.’” After Mass, the priest graciously accepted a parishioner’s well-intended compliment, “Nice homily, Father!” but presumed it was because he had preached so little. Three minutes before High Mass began, a man asked the priest to hear his confession. After the absolution, he presented his business card advertising his professional pest-extermination services. Then the song leader announced before the procession, “We are temporarily experiencing technical difficulties with the microphone; please do not adjust your hearing aids.” Later, the visiting priest struggled with the key in the tabernacle door he was trying to open to retrieve a supplemental sacred vessel. He pleaded, “Lord, I stand knocking. We are a people that long to see you face to face.” The priest swore he heard a voice from inside that whispered: “Behold! Now, turn around!” But seriously, friends, the Eucharist gathers people who long for God in an all-too-human environment. As a nexus between the sacred and profane, the liturgy can lift us up and other times drag us down into no-win battles about tabernacle placement and whether Christ is more present in the assembly or within the tabernacle. More distractions affect some worshipers who simply look to the Mass in their hectic lives as a time of peace to enter into the Sacred Mystery. Admittedly, the quality of weekly Sunday liturgy can be enhanced—from lector and cantor training, to homily improvement, to church acoustics. However, on Easter morning, of all times, may there be more yearning than yawning at Mass, more attraction than distraction by a crowd excited that our Lord arose to wake the imprisoned dead—including those who sometimes feel this way in the pews!