I Should Have Said No

Have you ever been pressured to do something for which you were not qualified ?

A parishioner had died, and I was asked to play music for the funeral. I did not know the correct protocol, but my friend Veronica told that she would instruct me in exactly what to do. She said : ‘When you sees the casket comes into the church, then you starts to play the opening hymn.’

I followed her directions exactly, and started to play the opening hymn. : ‘Be Not Afraid.’ Then, I looked up and saw the presiding priest walking down the centre aisle. He looked furious ! He said to me, in a voice loud enough to be heard by the entire chapel:

‘You do NOT start the hymn until I finish my opening prayers.’ As he marched back to the front of the church, I blushed, and hung my head in shame. When the congregation saw how mortified I looked after my scolding, the unthinkable happened ; they started to laugh.

I gained experience, and played at other funerals before I left the Catholic Church earlier this year.

Jesus asks his followers to be assertive, and sometimes being assertive involves knowing when it is best to say no.

13 thoughts on “I Should Have Said No

  1. I used to struggle to say no especially to things related to church. But have learned to over time. I can relate that It is hard to say no sometimes because you feel guilty for not helping.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry this happened to you. Does the priest know that his words and attitude probably discouraged others from volunteering to help in the future?
    PS At the church I used to attend in Michigan, once a year there was a volunteer banquet, where anyone who had helped out in any department that year came for a free dinner, and the church staff served them. THAT’s the way to appreciate your volunteers.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ouch! That stung, Sally, and I was only reading it! 😦 I served as an altar boy for four years, working very closely with the parish priests, and experienced firsthand for myself the anger and ridicule for mistakenly deviating from the precise rituals. Further complicating the matter was that each priest had their own quirks and preferences that we had to quickly learn or earn their ire. I learned later that priests and the liturgical rituals were not only unnecessary, but drew souls away from the genuine Gospel of grace.

    Your post reminded me of something I wrote a couple of years ago about the arrogance and nastiness of one particular priest I heard on the radio:
    https://excatholic4christ.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/catholic-priest-go-ahead-and-leave-and-never-come-back/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Tom, I so agree with you ! Exactly true ! I once got in trouble for wearing a white dress while playing music at a Mass. The priest said that it was inappropriate.
      He said : ” You are even whiter than I am ! ”
      I always got a chuckle about Catholics calling some liturgical seasons :
      “Ordinary Time” . I think that all time is special, and every moment is God’s gift to us. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: wearing a white dress

        LOL! I remember purposely wearing white pants at our eighth grade graduation mass after the nuns had instructed us boys to only wear dark points. I guess I had a bit of a rebellious streak even then. I wanted to look like John Lennon walking across Abbey Road! 🙂

        Yes, every day is a gift! No reason or need to elevate one day over the other.

        Like

  4. Hahaha….I had only a few lessons in Catholicism. When Fr. Joseph learned I was a musician, he fast-tracked me. He gave me a calendar that had liturgical colours marked on for each day. This puzzled me. I thought that they meant that everyone was supposed to wear something in that colour on those days, kind of like wearing
    green on St.Patrick’s Day ! Finally Veronica explained liturgical colours to me. I was relieved ! Green and purple do not suit my skin tone. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  5. That would make anyone “afraid” whether you want to “be” or not. Volunteer work can receive little and poor instruction sometimes Many have experienced similar incidents. I have. Good thing we can laugh or we’d all go insane.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Nicki, it is an important skill, especially for women. Sometimes we are made to feel like we are less ‘spiritual ‘ because we say no, but in reality, we are honouring the Lord by setting appropriate boundaries to keep ourselves well.

      Liked by 1 person

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