Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Mass, Confession and then more Mass!

Last week I attended a Latin Mass in honour of Eileen O'Conner, potentially the next saint of Australia, a small, disabled woman who lived in the late 1800's and started an order of nuns for the care of the sick and disabled. Her body is incorupt. Apparently Our Lady appeared to her through a statue in her bedroom, I got to have a look at it, it was beautiful and very well painted, a couple of girls I was with and I spectualated on whether it was incorrupt too...but it may have just been repainted.

The Mass was very interesting, it took place on a Novus Ordo sanctuary with two very cramped sub-deacons. Eileen's tomb was opened for the anniversary of her death, and a special blessing. The sisters are now very modern, but they were very gracious in opening up their chapel to the Latin Mass community. The Mass was very beautiful and solemn up to the point where the fire alarm went off. It wasn't a fire...well not a big one. The thurifer pulled a face somewhere between "opps" and "I'm so pleased!". The fire alarm climbed pitch quickly, and the priests voice followed as he intoned the Sub Tuum. I saw him and the sub-deacon next to him laughing quietly as congregation sung so loudly it seemed like they were trying drown out the alarm. During the blessing of the tomb afterwards a tall fireman appeared at the door, but took a step backwards as he realised he'd be interrupting something. They finally stopped it just before the end of the service.

Before I went to the Mass I attended confession at the Cathedral, it was on the way. I had such a heavy load on my shoulders, I really felt that my sin was getting in the way of my relationship with God, it was the most tangible in a long time. I remember seeing a really good metaphor that the NET team that was in my parish gave to some teenagers at a local high school. They had one person standing there next to "God", and they give each other a high-five. They then told a story about a teenager who sins a couple of times venally, they stand a couple of volunteers stand between the first person and "God", they try to high-five, they can, but it's more difficult. The story then goes on and the protagonist sins mortally, another person is put in between and then the person and "God" can't high-five at all. It was going through my head days before I went, probably trying to counteract my resistance. I had to ask where the confessionals where from a security guard, he was nice enough to check the times and then point me in the right direction. The priest was really wonderful, I was behind the curtain, but he had the kindest voice and recited the reflections beautifully. I felt so much better afterwards, and a little teary, although I swear that always happens after confession! I felt so good receiving communion afterwards, I'd been washed clean. how good is the Lord! Giving us such an amazing sacrament!

At Mass on Sunday we sung some hymns and a round, which was the first time for me. It was interesting learning to do it, I'd done terribly at them in the past, but I pulled it off this time, probably because it was so simple. Thankfully I knew the hymns, or at least the tunes. I find it difficult sometimes because I don't know the hymns, and thee seems to be this assumption that we all do (especially since the sheet music is rarely given). It was the same while I attended the NO, so at least I'm used to it. I think that's the sad part of not being a cradle-Catholic, I missed out on the culture in a lot of ways, but now I'm on my way to regaining it, so praise God for that!

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