Louisville, KY: "The joy of the resurrection renews the entire world," says the Easter communion prayer. But more than a few churchworkers apparently crashed and burned after the last Sunday mass at Easter.
"Yes, I'm joyful, (expletive deleted), but my voice cracked on that high F sharp during the Alleluia, and the altos were off during the offertory, and the G handbell," explained red-eyed liturgist, Anne O'Reilly, "was just missing! And the piece was in that key!" She began to weep bitterly.
A lector, who declined to be named, said "After Thursday night, the reading of John's Passion Friday, and then seven different readings Saturday, they asked me to come back Sunday morning. But I woke up hoarse. I got up to the microphone and just coughed for four minutes. I'll never live this down. I'm looking into Carthusian monasteries right now, just for the vow of silence."
Organist Michael Bianci was another victim. "I love the Triduum and Easter Sunday masses, I truly do. But after practicing this intricate music for weeks, and having to play for 10 hours in three and a half days, I've developed severe carpal tunnel syndrome. I think I want to learn a new instrument. Maybe the recorder. Or the harmonica." He walked away, humming Stevie Wonder's "You are the sunshine of my life."
Most checked into St. Anxiete's Rehab for overworked churchworkers Sunday night citing "exhaustion." In-take doctors noted no drugs were involved. "But it's definitely a flood," noted a St. Anxiete's public relations officer. "We haven't seen anything like this since...well, last Easter."
"It's a delicate time," added Fr. Brendan Smith, Ph.D., head psychologist of the Churchworkers ward. "Those churchworkers suffering from Post Easter Stress Disorder, or PESD, know within themselves that Easter continues for 50 days. And with First Communions around the corner...well, it puts a few people around the bend," he said.
Treatment can be difficult, said Fr. Smith. "It all involves giving oneself over to the joy of God, despite human failings. But many don't want help. They come in here looking for the latest pop singers, wanting to teach them how to really sing. They have to accept they are human beings, and leave the impossible to God," he said.
St. Anxiete is being open about the reality of PESD this year in order to promote one solution: National Hug A Liturgist Day. "A note of appreciation would be nice. They are all exhausted today, and liturgy may be for the greater glory of God, but a friendly note from the Body of Christ would go a long way. Greet them with a hug and offer some chicken noodle soup," said Fr. Smith.