Ode to a CopierPosted: April 2, 2012
As we begin Holy Week, Christians throughout the world will journey from the agony of crucifixion to the joy of resurrection. It is, of course, the most significant time in the liturgical year and the very heart of our faith. Yet we must also pause and give thanks for the unsung heroes of this whole operation: the hardworking parish copiers and those who dutifully operate them.
When the copier inevitably jams or runs out of toner or stops working altogether in the midst of cranking out the Easter Vigil bulletin, it is the parish secretary who stands on the front lines of Holy Week. He or she lovingly coaxes this essential machine or screams at it or sings incantations over it. While it’s true that Easter never failed to arrive on account of a broken xerox machine, these beasts of burden will be taxed to the limit this week. And in the process, much hair will either turn gray or be yanked out by the roots.
Thus, as I have in years past, I offer a poem in honor of these vital machines in hopes that they will be up to the task. Sure Christians survived without copiers for nearly 2,000 years. But let’s face it — without the bulletins they produce most of us would be left in the liturgical dark. Oh, and don’t forget to thank the parish office staff (though I recommend doing so next week after things have calmed down).
Ode to a Copier
A Prayer for Holy Week
Holy Week, dear friends, will soon draw nigh;
From Trinity, Boston to All Saints’, Tenafly.
Parish secretaries and their rectors, too,
Thinking of the bulletins that will ensue,
Drop to their knees and begin to quake,
Praying their copiers will stay awake
Through Maundy Thursday and the rest;
Without behaving as if possessed.
Rectors wonder with uncertainty,
“Should I have purchased the extended warranty?”
Misfeeds, toner woes and a paper jam
Always seem to accompany the Paschal Lamb.
Why this happens is a great unknown,
A mystery worthy of the bishop’s throne.
So stoke the incense, say your prayers;
anything to stave off copier repairs.
As the dark shadows of Tenebrae now approach;
may your copier behave without reproach.
And as we begin the Good Friday fast,
May it wait ‘til Low Sunday to breathe its last.