Jimmy Fallon Stumbles Upon Reality of The Mass
“I feel so small.” These words, spoken by a priest friend during his first Mass of Thanksgiving, are easy to understand in light of the pomp and circumstance of our last Priesthood ordination. The joy experienced by the thousands of people present no doubt added to a chorus of thanksgiving that rang louder than our Cathedral choir. But his words also remind us of the divine reality behind the grandiosity of the Ordination Mass.
Jimmy Fallon, a popular actor and comedian, commented on such pageantry during a 2011 interview with the National Public Radio. In the interview Fallon, who as a child considered priesthood, noted the similarities between show business and the celebration of Mass. Unintentionally Jimmy Fallon puts his finger on a thread common to show business and the Catholic liturgy, which was alluded to by my priest friend and witnessed by all at our Diocesan ordination: a striving towards excellence or, in terms of the Mass, a beauty that is intrinsically objective.
The premise of beauty as objective lends the Catholic the ability to label Jimmy Fallon’s execution of a (morally uplifting) line in a movie or a joke on stage a beautiful thing. The hours of preparation and rehearsal that preceded the Ordination Mass were therefore all in the aim of reaching such beauty. And so the same line of logic espoused by Fallon extends to each liturgy because in the Mass, as Blessed John Paul II argued, “we celebrate on Earth .. a mysterious participation in the heavenly liturgy.”
As I, along with other servers, priests and Bishops, processed out of the Cathedral towards the end of the Ordination, I couldn’t help but be reminded that the Cathedral bell that rang chimed not for us, but for the world as a reminder that God has sent them three more priests to heal the sick and feed the hungry. There aren’t bells and whistles in every Mass, but there is beauty in each one.
By Ryan Bilodeau