This morning, I came into chapel before Mass, grabbed the bell I use from its place in the back cabinet, and took a seat in one of the pews.
Rather than put it on the ledge of the pew in front of me, as I usually do, for some reason today, I set it on the pew cushion itself.
A little while later, I had to get up to take care of some last minute detail in the sacristy. I came back to the body of the chapel and took a seat. Mass was starting, but where was my bell? I must have left it in my original seat, but which was that?
Since I left, the seats had filled in a bit. I scanned the pews, to no avail. I could not find the bell. We have other bells, but they are way up in the bottom cabinet in the sacristy. I was not about to make a scene and go up to get another.
I just let it go…I figured there would be no bell-ringing today during the Eucharistic prayer to serve as a wake up call and sign of reverence. There wasn’t much I could do.
I was also the reader at this Mass, since this is “my week for liturgy,” as we say. (We take turns leading Office, picking hymns and reading for Mass.) When I returned from leading the petitions, I ended up in yet another pew. What a ding-a-ling I was!
I had, by this time, given up on the possibility of having a bell at this Mass. I took part in the preface dialog and sang along with the “Holy, Holy.” When it came time for the Consecration, boy was I in for a surprise!
A bell was rung by the gentleman sitting in front of me. THERE was the bell!
That must have been my original seat. I was humored, but thankful that he had taken the initiative to enhance our celebration of Mass by ringing it, since this ding-a-ling (me) had lost it.