Saturday, December 20, 2008

It is an honor to serve!!!

I belong to a ministry at our parish called the Altar Rosary Society. I think in some circles it is also called the Altar Rosary Guild. This is a ministry dedicated to prayer, service, education and social activities. We pray the Rosary every day and we serve our our Lord, our parish and our pastor by cleaning and maintaining the sanctuary (and other areas) on a weekly basis. Our pastor commissioned this ministry specifically because he did not really want a "cleaning service" dusting the Tabernacle. I couldn't agree more. To me, it is a privilege to clean our church and take care of decorating as well as the maintaining the altar linens. I clean on the 3rd Saturday of the was my day. Along with the regular cleaning, today we did the BIG cleaning for Christmas. We do two BIG cleanings a year...Christmas and Easter. I wanted to share with you some pictures of our girls at work...

This is Terry working hard to dust the candlesticks on the back altar. What an honor it is to be this close to the Blessed Sacrament! We all feel a peacefulness when working near the Tabernacle. It can be a time of quiet reflection while you work.

There was someone straightening up the Advent Wreath, but, she ducked out before I took the shy.

The statue of Our Lady is up too high to do any real cleaning, although I should have gotten a picture of Anne up there with the vacuum! I think Fr. Fred would have had a heart attack! Isn't she lovely? She watches over us as we do our cleaning!

This is the statue on the opposite side. Our Lord watches over us as well. Sometimes, when praying during mass, I imagine Him speaking directly to me. Silly, I know, but He has such a loving expression on His face.

One of the things that I helped work on today was removing all of the cushions from the pews and dusting them. I hit "pay dirt" today...look what was under one cushion!!! Brand spanking new crayons and tons of Cheerios! Mommy's and Daddy's, if you're going to bring food into church for your young ones....please remember to look around a little before you leave to make sure you haven't forgotten anything!!!!!

This is Maryann patiently changing the belt on the vacuum! Our vacuum's take a lickin but they keep on tickin!!
This is Diane, one of my very best friends in the world! As I cleaned the pews, she vacuumed the cushions. This is a hard and sweaty job, but as you can see, we work with a smile on our faces!

Our cleaning supplies

Here's Terry, cleaning under the cushions on the altar rail. You know, when I was a kid, there were no cushions on the altar had to kneel on the hard marble!!!

Trying to scrape off the wax from the bottom of the Easter candle.

These are our lists that we work from. Each sheet has a different area of the church (main vestibule, adoration chapel, choir loft, etc...) with a list of each job that needs to be done in that area. When you decide what you want to initial it so a job doesn't get done twice. We had a lot of work to do today!!

Maryann vacuuming the pew cushions....notice the smile!!!

We sweep all the dirt and garbage (yes, we find garbage in the pews....among other very gross things) out to the center aisle and then vacuum it all up.

Although this picture does NOT do it justice, this wood carving on the front of the main altar is gorgeous! It is three dimensional and is very striking when the lighting is just right.

Very simple decorations for Advent.
This is one of two beautiful (but subtle) guardian angels that adorn each side of the tabernacle. It's like they are silently keeping watch over us.

When I got home from church today...there was a small package waiting for me! It was from a wonderful online friend! She sent me the cutest Rudolph bell ornament! I know it's hard to see but he's right in the middle of the picture with the bright red nose! He has gold, sparkling antlers! I absolutely love him! Thank you Therese!!

Well, I know this was a long post but I wanted to share with you this ministry that I love so very much. Since chemo started in September, I have not been doing any cleaning because my wonderful friend Jane said she would take my week while I'm recovering. As a matter of fact, today was my first day back....and I must kicked my behind! Thank you Jane for taking my cleaning day. I love and appreciate you!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


Therese said...

I am glad you like the ornament!

Your Church is so beautiful! What a wonderful duty you have!

Melody K said...

What a lovely church! You and the others who help in this ministry do a wonderful service for your parish. I'm glad you are beginning to feel stronger.
When I was little I used to enjoy helping my Grandma clean church; I would dust the pews for her.
Mom used to read me Bible stories, and we came to the part about the Holy of Holies in the Old Testament; where only the priest got to go in once a year, to pray. I said, "Don't the ladies even go in to dust?" And Mom just said that she didn't think people worried much about dust back then!

scmom (Barbara) said...

You have a beautiful church, Nancy. What a privilege to clean up for Our Lord. I'm certain most parishioners have no idea that someone is cleaning up after them (although I often wonder who they think is taking care of their spilled Cheerios?).

Journey of Truth (Sarah) said...

Cute ornament - very cute!!

Lovely church for a great ministry. Thank you for keeping it looking it's best!!

Merry Christmas!