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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Breakfast of champions

Too bad that Wheaties took that slogan in 1933. I think it should instead be used for daily Mass. I know I talk about this a lot, but to those of you who can possibly go to a weekday Mass, PLEASE go!

It's Mass in its plainest form, no singing, no carefully composed petitions, celebrated by people trying and often failing to get their circulation going all the way to their feet. Sometimes the lecters' singing voices crack and lose traction on the "Alleluia" before the Gospel. Beginning this time of year, there is a muffled orgy of sinus-clearing, and I regularly hear stomachs growl and knees crackle, the silence is so complete. We're spread way out in the pews, the Sign of Peace is usually a small but warm wave to others too far away to touch.

But the reverence always rises and gathers strength, warming us as we proceed through the Mass, standing and kneeling as one, since the order of the Mass has worn its path in our brains and hearts with frequent attendance. We have all the fun and glory of celebrating the feasts and memorials of the saints and martyrs of the Church Triumphant. The Scriptures for the week, save special ones for special feasts, are read serially, each day's reading breaking off at an exciting part or after a significant thought, to be resumed tomorrow, leaving us in anticipation, like children listening to a bedtime story.

I feel united in action and intent with the entire congregation. When I pray the prayers we've all said a billion times, they often come as though new from my heart and mind. At Communion, even when I'm badly distracted (why is it that my need for a can of Pam, some walking-around money and an oil change flashes across my mind in the middle of the Offertory?), I KNOW without dilution that the Lover of my Soul waits for me. In a way I never feel on rustling distracted Sundays, we pray together with one mind, one spirit.

I left Mass this morning, filing along out the side door behind a few others on our way to our cars. Some mornings we wait for each other and chatter and check on our families. This morning, by mutual consent, we drifted out in a haze of recollection, savoring the Feast.

It's worth it. Please go: your life will be re-centered in a way you can't even guess, and paradoxically, you will love your fellow parishioners and know them better.

6 comments:

Lorna said...

good post

I like midweek services especially eucharist and would like to see it introduced more in other denominations too.

Therese Z said...

I do too. They often have Wednesday Bible studies, so why can't the church be open all day, with a morning service, etc?

It really organizes my life more tightly around serving God.

Hope said...

I wished that I lived close enough to town that I could go to Mass daily. I would be there. I converted to Catholicism last December and it still makes me a bit crazy that people who could be at Mass daily aren't.

Some weeks I splurge on the gas and drive the 30 minutes to the closest town for Mass during the week. Yesterday was one of those days. There were only 5 of us at daily Mass. The only thing that bothers me is that people are in a hurry to leave. I would like to stay and pray for an hour or so but the lights get turned out just about as soon as the procession is finished. Ugh. I don't get it.

Btw - do you post on the catholic answers forum? I thought your name sounded familiar from on there.

Therese Z said...

No, I don't, and I don't have the habit of reading it. I'll give it a try.

I used to worry about the people who hightail it out of there, until I met a few whose work day starts about fifteen minutes after Mass, and are cutting it really close to be there, so I felt better.

And hang on for those "only 5 at daily Mass" deals, if it seems empty. It may not stay empty for long, if the ones that come are faithful. Of course, if you like the intimacy, you'll "hate" Lent, because lots of people go to more daily Masses during it and then disappear for the rest of the year.

Congratulations on your recent conversion! I HOPE (heh) it's all you wanted and more.

AC said...

I have only recently going to weekday masses but it really seems to give me a boost to get through the day and the week. It also helps to make more a sense of community..

Peace Pilgrim said...

Lovely post!

I am an almost-daily communicant. Your post captured the ambience, the simple beauty and the heart of the mid-week Mass.

I am a recent convert, as is my husband. We were baptized on Easter Vigil, 2005.

When we don't go, there is such a missing piece in our day!

God bless you for sharing your time and writing talent with us.

D/Peace Pilgrim at http://peacepilgrim.fotopages.com/

 

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