This is one of those trying moments in child-friendly ministry. I encourage the full participation of children in the Mass – a teaching ministry where they share what they have learnt in their learning ministry (what we used to call Sunday School), participation in the eucharistic prayer, in bells and acolytes, in allowing them space and form to worship.
As a result of their feeling so relaxed in God’s house, they were chasing each other around the sanctuary and now the Paschal Candle is in a million pieces. I am not angry, but somewhat upset.
The candle now represents our brokenness, and the financial perils that we are faced with – for the cost of a replacement Paschal Candle is not insignificant. That it broke at all, in the middle of a moment of silliness is also a metaphor for the risks that we can and should take in ministry, for Christ the Light of the World is not to be shielded from the world, but activity placed in its midst, in the midst of children playing and the people of God in worship. The risk of exposing brokenness is a risk taken because Christ is already out there, where there is no protection for him, for it is He who is our protector.
That the people of God gathered to pick up the pieces is also a significant metaphor; gathered up so that none may be lost, gathered to try and repair the damage, to fix the unfixable, to find a suitable alternative.
Maybe it was a good (although expensive) thing to happen; a lesson learnt by a group of children, a living example of faith and praxis in parish life. Maybe this was God teaching us something about his brokenness.
Maybe I shouldn’t be upset at all.
Fix it and move on. God is here. Make yourselves at home.