Monday, January 4, 2010

Steeler Fans, Don't Despair!

Yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers have missed the playoffs. But, if you need ACTION this coming Sunday, if you want COLOR and CEREMONY and DRAMA played out under a GREAT DOME, I invite you to the Pittsburgh Latin Mass. Wait, wait, wait.....don't leave me.

Hey, I'm not kidding. I like sports as much as the next person. I played baseball in high school and college and was on the high school football team (at my high school a 120lb, 5'4" running back didn't see much action). I even coached a middle school football team way back when I taught at DS Keith School in Altoona, PA. So, I mean what I say here.

Steeler fans make Steeler football a religion of sorts. Don't you agree? Now that the team occupies the same plane as the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns and will disappear until next August, I suggest an alternate form of worship, the Pittsburgh Latin Mass.

How can a church service replace your football worship this coming Sunday? Let's see. The Pittsburgh Latin Mass (PLM hereon) has a story, the last supper of Jesus, and perhaps the world's best known celebrity and quarterback of sorts. He faced insurmountable obstacles in his game (the real Super Bowl) and a real solid defense, the Pharisees and the Romans.

But, he had a Game Plan! And, this contest had action, color (in this case lots of purples and reds), pageantry (certainly), interesting sounds and a rabid crowd. JC was playing for all the marbles, all the world's marbles. The PLM, which recreates that contest of 2000 years ago, has the same intensity as a Steeler Sunday, and more! In addition to the stuff already mentioned, the PLM has inspiring music, but not in the form of a marching band. In fact,the PLM held every Sunday at St. Boniface Church near Pittsburgh's North Side (high mass at 11am), has one of the best choirs in western Pennsylvania. They sing in Latin!

Speaking of Latin, it's an ancient and mysterious language. So, you can relate it to the mysterious language used by Big Ben: "Slant right...Button hook" and so on. But in this case, you'll hear, "Dominos vobiscum. Et cum spiritu tuo." What's not to like? Add to that the pervasive aroma of incense and you have a formula for a great Sunday. (You can do the hotdog odor later at home.)

The PLM will even show you some killer instant replays, but in this instance we call them "The Stations of the Cross". You won't see any athletic highlights like this in any century real soon. JC took more hits than Hines Ward will ever know. Talk about hamstring injuries, how would you deal with nails in the hands. It gives new meaning to "nailing the quarterback."

So, this coming Sunday don't despair. You can still get your religious fix (regardless of your denomination) by visiting the Pittsburgh Latin Mass. You can sing, cheer (quietly) for the underdog, watch an incredible contest reenacted, and you might even see a Rooney there!

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