Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

Is this not a summary of Mass in one sentence? I was thinking this yesterday as we recited the divine mercy chaplet led by the PP, all of us  kneeling before Our Lord on the altar.

Did I mention I love my parish? I love my parish so much I even quite like the flying wire-mesh angels, though I cannot argue against my opinion that sanctuaries designed after the introduction of the new missal tend to be a mess, and that ours is no exception. Did I mention I love our pp? He preaches most excellently well and offers Mass with devotion and recollectedly. The family-life-themed stations of the cross through the streets of the  parish were a series of perfect short sermons delivered through very powerful speakers, echoing through the blocks of flats around us.  Looks like a bouncer, delicate words, most edifying example. [And a crotchety git in person.] Did I mention the drumming and wailing of the neo-cats in the “undercroft” is really really annoying, but worth putting up with for the effect it seems to have on the parish in general? Did I mention I love the organist? It is not easy to accompany the ordinary of the Mass well, especially not the Gloria, nor to prevent long things like the Te Deum becoming the Tedium. He is a magician, and the instrument is a good one, together they lift the prayer and do not crush it. Did I mention we sang the Te Deum yesterday in thanks for the election of the Pope? Did I mention I love the fact that of the nine priests in the parish (one of the trendy young bearded ones in the photies under the wire-mesh angels, pp in the bottom photie) only one yawns his way through Mass? The crowds on Sundays, the lines of people walking to church on Sundays and feasts? The daily exposition of the Blessed Sacrament? We’ve even got a proper bookshop.

To think I nearly didn’t take this flat.

To think of my poor little parish in West Lothian, where the folk group played over and over again a small selection from an old edition of Hymns Old & New, when they didn’t have more interesting plans for Sunday than going to Mass. A little later someone discovered CDs of Celtic Sacro-pop, and we sang along to those (I jest not). A religious decided he liked the parish and used to say Mass to help out the pp (who had two or three parishes) – in the summer vac he announced that since it was the holidays, he wouldn’t preach, but would tell jokes instead.  His sermons were a joke anyway, so  the material change was not great. It was so sad. It shouldn’t have been sadder for the folk in the parish being so great, but it was. Nivver mind social justice, how about ecclesial justice?

[update: more photies of me parish church: Warszavka.

You can see it in the previous post as well, looking as though it’s in the middle of the world’s most horrible concrete jungle, which it’s not.][and I’ve just discovered four thousand people can fit into the church at one time – certainly on Maundy Thursday one had to check carefully if there was enough space to kneel].