The handbag. The church bell. Those embarrassing moments.

The 10 am Mass is currently on.  I should be in it.  I was.  At least for a very short time. And then it went pear shaped. 

I opened the Repository from 9 to 10 am as usual.  It was going well.  Great filter coffee, lovely customers, new floors, everyone likes the new layout of Repository and all was sunshine and happy Sunday morning.  

Two customers stayed after 10 am and as we were chatting about items in the Repository and WYD, the time ticked on and I only ran across the road at 10:10 ... this sometimes happens when I still have customers. Also there was a problem with an overflowing Jojo tank pointed out to me by several parishioners, which required me to make a call after 10:00 to someone. It could not wait.  And the Repository is my Ministry. 

Not wanting to walk into the church so late, and with the cry chapel being full, I circled the church, entered from the other side by the Sacristy and stood quietly in the passage at the back of the church.  It was still going well.  I listened to the Homily and decided I would stay where I was.  Nic was altar serving alone and all was still well. 

Until then ..... 

Hearing the Sacristy door open behind me, I turned to see who was in there in the middle of the Mass.  Two things happened simultaneously.  I saw one of the young counting guys walk out and in the swing around I hit the church bell with my handbag.  It rings once to signal the beginning of Mass and the entrance of the Priest, Altar servers, Readers etc. 

It rang 4 times.  The young guy snorted and ran back into the Sacristy..... I was paralysed with embarrassment and while it was still ringing ... and with 409 parishioners who had swung around ... I turned and ran into the Sacristy behind him. 

I wished in that moment that I was a visiting Catholic that would not be at this parish again. Or a completely unknown parishioner.  Or invisible.  But no, I have to be the parish secretary. 

Now in the big scheme of things this is not a catastrophic issue.  The bell rang.  It was a mistake.  And yes, out of nerves and being so red faced I could not stop laughing ... nor could the youngster.  Luckily out of sight. 

I went outside to the grotto.  Sat with the statue of Mary.  Prayed and apologised profusely. 

Now I am in my office.  Waiting for Mass to end.  So that I can tell my son that those bells .... it was his mom. 

Apologies to anyone who may be grossly offended.  There are worse things that could have happened. 

c'est la vie .... such is my life. 

Till soon 

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