Monday night I experienced what the parish we are merging with does with their sacramental mass - and I wasn't impressed one bit. In fact, it was, as my title indicates, a circus. Well, kind of like circus combined with Chinese New Year.
Our parishes are definitely different. While we prefer to do things simply and elegantly, the other parish tends to make major productions out of everything. Our Confirmation was a simple affair with the church decor consisting of beautiful floral arrangements and white pillar candles, decorated by the confirmandi, were lit and placed in the windowsills. Do you get the symbolism of fire and Confirmation? The other parish, uses flags, the kind you find in a Chinese New Year parade, carried by some students, to escort the children into the church. Adorning the walls (the beautiful marble walls that are clean and polished) are banners hanging and making the walls look like a cabana striped umbrella. Definitely not our style. Did I mention that they wanted to put the ugly flags in the sanctuary? I put the kabosh on that idea when I informed them that the woman who does the flower arrangements for our church had already planned the sanctuary decor and the flags wouldn't work nor fit. It took me kind of putting my foot down to convince "Sister" that it wouldn't work - she finally relented, but of course made it sound like it was her idea.
Needless to say, I wasn't pleased with Confirmation, but then neither was our new pastor. So, changes will be made and next year, Confirmation will be much different that what they are used to, and much better.