It seems that I’m getting a name for being adept at burning that which is liturgically inappropriate. This time I was provided with a large plastic garbage bag containing a polyester chasuble and stole, replete with some rips and tears, along with a matching green burlap altar… um… sack… I guess… The request was for me to burn them, since I had all the pyro-logistics eager to be put into action. Having taken a day off from the parish, I headed off to the hermitage to do the necessary. Behold, with one match put to a well placed section of a waxed vegetable box, it begins:
Note: Do not ever wear anything polyester around a flame. How it is that priests have not been burned to death with their polyester vestments during the Easter Vigil I do not know. Within just a few seconds, the conflagration is in full force.
The acrid, black smoke necessitated by this practice of burning old Mass vestments signals that I’m ready to dispose of more like Mass vestments at anyone’s request. ;-) Just send them along and they’ll sooner than later become like incense rising before the throne of the Most High, for it is not a bad thing that that which is inappropriate is brought to a felicitous termination. I’m told that a very appropriate decal was first removed from the inappropriate vestments. Anyway, seriously, send them along. Father George David Byers; 214 Aquone Road; Andrews, N.C. 28901.
And while some people say that this is a waste, and that the vestments and altar sack should be sent to the missions, don’t think for a second that those in the missions didn’t dump them on non-mission parishes as, you know, snicker, snicker, souvenirs of the missions (other non-mission parishes having sent them to the missions first). People who think that those in the missions are necessarily tasteless and boorish are so tasteless and boorish themselves that those in the missions send their gifts right back to them. Irony is lovely. Truly. I do so very much appreciate it. But it’s better just to burn it all and be done with it and provide that which is honorable at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.