Mass and the Mardi Gras Mambo
By Sarah McDonald
“Oh, it’s Carnival Time, everybody’s having fun!” goes the song, but, first, NOLACatholics – go to Mass!
There is perhaps no weekend in New Orleans that is plagued by spotty attendance than the weekend before Mardi Gras. While some parishes close to the parade route enjoy standing-room-only crowds, it is safe to say attendance at late morning to midday Sunday Masses is a little low across the area.
I admit, we are a family that changes our regular Sunday Mass attendance and attire to accommodate getting to the parade route.
Sometimes we make the sacrifice of getting to an earlier Mass at our own parish. Sometimes we scope out a Mass time (easy to do at https://nolacatholic.org/parishfinder) along or near the parade route.
We also forgo the McDonald Family Mass dress code in lieu of parade route-friendly clothing to avoid unnecessary bags or a changing room. The priority though – get to Mass first.
The Mass schedule is the first thing we decide upon making our Carnival weekend plans. We hope that even though much more time will be spent on the route than in the pews, it makes an impression on our children that God and the practice of our faith must come first.
We love Mardi Gras parades and being with our family and friends in the festive atmosphere Mardi Gras creates, but we know, without making Mass a priority, we would be failing in forming our children in faith.
So, NOLACatholic parents, let’s hear from you. What’s your Mass plan Mardi Gras weekend?